Chapter 4 3.
Epistles to the Three Angel-Stars of the Ecclesias in Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. SECTION 1 TO THE ANGEL OF THE ECCLESIA IN SARDIS. 1. Also to the angel of the ecclesia in Sardis write: These things saith he having the Seven Spirits of the Deity and the Seven Stars: I have known thy works, that thou hast the name that thou livest, but thou art dead. 2. Become thou vigilant, and strengthen the things remaining which are about to die: for I have not found thy works perfected in the sight of the Deity. 3. Be mindful therefore what thou hast received, and heard, and strictly keep it, and be changed. If then thou have not been vigilant, I shall be come upon thee as a thief, and thou mayest not at all have known at what hour I shall be come upon thee. 4. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments: and they shall walk with me in white robes, because they are worthy. 5. The victor, he shall be clothed in white garments; and I will not at all obliterate his name from the scroll of the life, and I will openly confess his name in the presence of my Father, and in the presence of his angels. He that hath an ear let him hearken to what the Spirit saith to the ecclesias. In this writing the Revelator introduces himself to the Star-Angel, or Eldership, of the ecclesia in Sardis as "He having the Seven Spirits of the Deity and the Seven Stars." He that hath these spirits and stars in possession and at his absolute disposal is the resurrected, exalted, and glorified Jesus, who at his last interview with the apostles said, "All authority hath been given to me in heaven, and upon earth." This was not so before his crucifixion, for he was not then "in the right places of the power divine," or "on the right of the Majesty in high places;" or, as it is also expressed by Paul, "sitting on the right of the throne of the Deity;" all of which are kindred to that of Stephen's who said, when the heavens were opened to him, and he saw God's glory, and Jesus who had stood out from the right (or heavenly places -- Eph. 1:20) of the Deity (estota ek dexion tou Theou, ) -- "I see the heavens opened, and the "Son of Man who has stood out from the right places of the Deity" -- Acts 7:55, 56; Mat. 26:64; Heb. 1:3; 12:2. "All authority hath been given to him," although "the power" of the Deity, or Theos, has not yet been exerted to put all things in the heavens and earth political in subjection under him. This was very plainly taught by Paul some thirty years after Jesus declared that all authority was given to him, in Heb. 2:6-9, where, in commenting upon part of the eighth psalm, he says, "We see not yet all things put under the Son of Man; but we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of the death, crowned with glory and honor." The possession of all authority and power (exousia and dunamis) though not necessarily exercised because possessed, is intimated in the writing before us by the declaration that "he hath the Seven Spirits of the Deity" at his command. As we have seen elsewhere, "seven" is the symbol of perfection; and consequently expressive of the omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence of the Spirit -- the Holy Spirit -- in inseparable combination with the exalted Jesus; who has thereby become "the Image of the invisible Theos;" the Image, in whom "all the fulness dwells;" "the Anointed in the Theos," or Deity; the "Theos manifested in Flesh "by the Effluent Logos; and the "King of kings and Lord of lords." All these sayings are apocalyptically represented by "the Lamb that had been slain, having Seven Horns, and Seven Eyes;" which are interpreted as representing "the Seven Spirits of the Deity sent forth into all the earth." The exalted Jesus then, is now the embodiment of the Seven Spirits, also represented by "Seven Lamps of Fire burning before the throne" -- Apoc. 4:5. Hence also, "he holds the Seven Stars in his right hand." These seven stars, the reader will not need to be informed, are no longer upon earth. The Embodied Seven, in present individual development, has exercised his authority, and withdrawn them from the corrupt and faithless constituents of the defunct presbyteries of the ecclesias. The starry fires have been extinguished as threatened in the epistle to the Star-Angel of Ephesus. "Be changed, and do the first works," said the Spirit; "but if not, I come to thee speedily, and will remove the lightstand out of its place except thou alter" -- ch. 2:5. But instead of an alteration for the better, the pre-Constantinian Christendom became worse and worse, until it attained the condition typified in that of the ecclesia in Sardis, which had only "a few names who had not defiled their garments." There are now no presbyterial stars in Asia, nor elsewhere. "The Spirits," or gifts, have been withdrawn by him who gave them, when he had ascended and received gifts for men; and will be withheld until "christendom" arises from the death into which it has sunk to the life of the coming Aion. The Spirit still shone in the angel of the ecclesia in Sardis, to which John was ordered to write. But, though "the Angel" had the gifts, these did not perfect the works of the members of "the Angel," nor preserve them from death in trespasses and sins. The Angel-Presbytery had "the name," or reputation, among its contemporaries, of being alive, but, in the estimation of the Eternal Spirit they were pronounced to be "dead." There must have been a very general corruption, and departure from first principles, at the close of the first century, for the Eldership of the ecclesia in Sardis, which was really in a dying state, to be regarded as living in health and power. This was, doubtless, the opinion of Nikolaitanes, false apostles, Baalamites, and the children of Jezebel, constituents all of the synagogue of the Satan, whose "depths," "teaching," and seductions, had swamped the truth in Sardis. They proclaimed "the Angel" there to be a star of living brightness; for had not they of the angel the gifts; and if they had not a living name before the Deity, would he not withdraw them? But these spiritual gifts only remained because of "the few names which had not defiled their garments;" with these exceptions, "the Angel" was dead. The presence of this few constituted it a body "about to die," or a dying body, so that in their absence, it was "dead." They were the only living element in it, and when they should be removed, the extinction of the Spirit-Light in their midst would come upon them "as a thief." How different is the Deity's judgment of men and things from that of the thinking of the flesh. The case of the Star-Angel in Sardis proves it. The general christian public regarded it as flourishing in spiritual life, while the Spirit pronounced it to be actually dead. This diversity has obtained ever since. In our day, the dead bodies of "the religious world," styled "names and denominations of christians," all consider themselves to be in the enjoyment of the health and vigor of spiritual existence, and high in the favor of the Most High. They call themselves "the churches of the living God," and their temples, the houses of God. They glorify themselves as the especial favorites of heaven, and their clergies as the ambassadors and ministers of the Lord. But, were the Spirit to write to them as he did to Sardis, he would say, "I know thy works, that thou hast the name that thou livest, but art dead." They do, however, differ from "the Angel" in Sardis in this, that whereas the Sardian body was once alive, they never were. However, so much the worse for the Sardians, for, as Peter says, "It had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them." They "had received and heard" what the clergies and peoples of the pious world of this day have no conception of. They had "received" "the things of the kingdom of the Deity, and the name of Jesus Anointed;" and had heard them to "the obedience of the faith" in immersion into and for the name of the Holy Ones. But "it had happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again, and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire" -- 2 Pet. 2:21. The moderns are "dogs" that have never turned from their vomit, and "sows" that have never been "washed" from their native mire. Their end will therefore be less bitter than that of "the Angel" in Sardis. This body has passed away, and so will our contemporary names and denominations, by the judgments of the Lord; but the professors constituting "the Angel" must rise again, and stand in the presence of the Deity, who will condemn their works as "not perfect," and expel them from his presence, to be "hurt of the Second Death" -- ch. 2:11. Not so, however, the constituent members of the sects and parties of this day. These have never lived. They have always been "dead in trespasses and sins," and, however pious, have been always hopelessly ignorant of the truth. The people and the "reverend" Sin-spirituals who "guide" them, are a region of the shadow of death, into which the light cannot shine, so as to dispel the darkness, until "the Lord the Spirit" is revealed in his glory. Like the helpless heathen in Paul's day, who found the God of Israel without seeking after him, because he forced himself upon their attention, the moderns are living under "times of ignorance," which "God winks at." They have the scriptures, it is true, but the traditions of the schools, dogmas and institutions, imposed upon our generation by its darkminded progenitors, have enslaved the minds of clergy and people, so that they cannot and dare not think in opposition to established opinions; and being so thorougly imbued with these, the scriptures to them have become sealed and unintelligible. They are dead, and consequently "alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them." The Angel in Sardis was "twice dead," and since "plucked up by the roots;" but the moderns, never having had spiritual existence in God, will be less sorely dealt with; yet will they not rise to life, the primary sentence upon our race binding them hard and fast with chains of darkness in the dust -- Gen. 3:19; Isa. 26:14; 38:18, 19. Sardis was once a great and splendid city, but now as dead as "the Angel-Presbytery" through which the light of the Seven Spirits shone for the divine illumination of its Jewish and Gentile inhabitants. It was the renowned capital of Croesus and the rich kings of Lydia. It was about thirty-three miles to the south of Thyatira. It is now no more than an ignoble village of low and wretched cottages of clay, with no other inhabitants than shepherds and herdsmen, who feed their flocks in the neighboring plains. The Turks call it Sart, or Sard. The surrounding ruins are of great extent and grandeur, and abundantly show how large and splendid a city it was formerly. There are a few living in the place called "christians" by their Turkish masters. They do not, however, represent "the few names which have not defiled their garments," but contrariwise, the "dead" after "the things remaining which were about to die" had actually become defunct. Even their temple has become a Mohammedan mosque, and they, with senseless stupidity, sustain a miserable servitude. Their predecessors contemporary with the apostle John, were exhorted by the Spirit to "become vigilant, and strengthen the things remaining which are about to die, or he would be come upon them as a thief." Had they done so, and continued faithful in all future generations, Sardis would doubtless have been a bright exception to the surrounding desolation. But the fate of the city is indicative of the persistency of their apostasy from what they "had received and heard." The Saracen locusts and the succeeding Euphrateans, have consummated the evil which began to afflict them in the extinguishing of the Spirit-Lightstand in the primitive ecclesia of the city. In the desolation, moral and material, which exists in the Turkish Sard, we have an illustration of what are the consequences of the Eternal Spirit "having come upon" a people "as a thief." Gloom, misery, and death, ignorance and superstition, now reign over this once populous, wealthy, and enterprising capital of the Lydians. The Spirit came upon them as a thief, and swept them with desolation, because they would not be mindful of his word. And such is the fate prepared for all who similarly offend. The presbytery in Sardis was exhorted to "become, vigilant." This implies that it was not so when the Spirit caused John to write. It was even then "about to die," but, from the exhortation, evidently not so far gone but that it might recover. Their "works" were not such as the Deity approved. Heretical opinions subversive of the faith had crept in. Though the particular heresies are not specified as in former epistles, whatever they were they were of a nature to defile. This appears from the fact, that they who "kept strictly" what they had originally "received and heard," had preserved their garments from defilement. Others had not been mindful to do this; but had received and heard something else, so that their garments were defiled. Whatever the dogmas were, though it might gratify curiosity to know, it matters not; this, however, is certain, that they worked death in those who received them. This is the sure influence of all thinking not in strict accordance with "the law and the testimony." Whatever is not of the truth is defiling before God. Every "reasoning," lofty conception, and thought not according to the knowledge of God, is polluting, and engenders disobedience and apostasy. The faith is perverted, and the practice marred. Such was the condition of the presbytery in Sardis -- defiled by human tradition and dead; a type of all "christendom" at this day. But even in this city of the dead there were "a few" living ones -- a remnant, that "contended earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints," and kept it. These were of the same class as "the rest among the Thyatirans" who held not the teaching of Jezebel; nor had acknowledged the depths of the Satan as they taught. They watched and kept their garments, that they might not walk naked, and be exposed to shame, at the coming of the Lord -- ch. 16:15. "Blessed" are such; for, saith the Spirit, "they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy." 1. "Walk with Me in White" The reader is requested to refer to what has been already written on the clothing of the constituents of the symbolic "Son of Man" at page 169, under the caption of "Clothed to the Feet," in illustration of the promise of the Spirit to the few undefiled in Sardis. To walk with him in white robes is to be the subject of a union with the Spirit such as obtains now between Jesus and the same. Jesus now walks with the Spirit; for "whithersoever the Spirit goeth" he, as the preeminent of the Cherubim, also goes -- Ezek. 1:12, 20. Hence, as this obtains with respect to him, it will also with them; for it is written, that the redeemed from among men "follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth," which is equivalent to walking with the Spirit -- in material and personal union with him. But they shall walk with him "in white robes," en leukois. Those who walk with the Spirit must be "worthy." The "few" in Sardis are declared to be such -- "they are worthy," saith the Spirit. Their robes must be of moral and material whiteness. Their character being pure and unstained, their nature must be made to correspond. In the present state, the saints are invested with holy garments, termed "their garments" in the writing before us. Having "put on Christ" by faith in the kingdom and name, and by immersion, he is for them a robe of righteousness; and by walking in him according to the truth received and obeyed, and so yielding the fruit of the Spirit, they "keep themselves unspotted from the world," which is as a garment of "fine linen, clean and white," which symbolises the righteous actions -- dikaiomata -- of the saints -- Rev. 19:8. These premises constitute the basis of their exaltation to holy spirit nature. This is "white," or pure. It is the incorruptible and deathless body, undefiled by the affections and lusts of our present nature, "in which dwells no good thing." Hence, then, he that walks with the Spirit in white robes is a righteous, incorruptible, and deathless man. To "clothe" the undefiled few in Sardis, "in white garments," is for the Spirit from heaven to reorganize their dust, and having modeled it after his own image as "the Heavenly Man," to give it life with incorruption, glory, and power. Thus will the resurrection-life of Jesus be manifested in their mortal flesh; and thus will they "be clothed upon with their house which is from heaven;" by which operation their "mortality will be swallowed up of life" -- 1 Cor. 15:42; 2 Cor. 4:11; 5:2-4. 2. "They are Worthy" Belief of the gospel of the kingdom and immersion, while they are indispensable to worthiness, do not alone constitute men "worthy." The constituents of the Angel-Presbytery had all believed the gospel and been immersed, yet they were pronounced by the Spirit "dead." This faith and obedience gave them an orthodox standing among contemporary Christians, who supposed that they were enjoying spiritual life; but the Spirit, who sees not as men see, declared that they were unworthy of his favor, because "their works were not perfected in the sight of the Deity." They were in the case of a man who says "he hath faith, but hath not works." This is the reason why the Spirit testified that they were "dead;" for he had said by James, that "faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." The Angel in Sardis said they had faith; while "the few" in the same city "had works." They are claimed to have faith; they had all believed the gospel and been immersed; for in the time of the apostles none were recognized as Christians who had not thus consented to "the wholesome words of the Lord Jesus." But how were the "worthy" to be distinguished from the unworthy? By their professions? No; the "dead" undertook to "show their faith without works;" but the Spirit rejected their claim, and gave his approbation to "the few," who "showed their faith by their works," as Abraham their father did, "whose faith" in the promises of the Deity "was perfected by works," whereby he obtained the honorable and exalted title of "The Friend of the Deity." Contemporary with the apostles was one named Clement, who for nine years was a member of "the Angel" of the ecclesia in Rome. He wrote an epistle to the ecclesia in Corinth for the purpose of healing schisms that had arisen there after Paul's death; and which he terms a quarrel with their pastors from a weak partiality for one or two persons. There is a paragraph in this epistle, much approved by "the evangelists" of our day, which, if taken in the sense they put upon it, place him in fellowship with the class in Sardis, termed by the Spirit "dead." His words are these: "All these," he is speaking of the Old Testament worthies, "were magnified and honored, not through themselves, not through their own works, not through the righteous deeds which they performed, but through his will. And we also by his will being called in Christ Jesus, are justified not by ourselves, nor by our own wisdom, or understanding, or godliness, or by the works which we have wrought in holiness of heart, but by faith; by which the Almighty hath justified all, who are or have been justified from the beginning." Milner, the ecclesiastical historian, introduces this passage by saying that "the distinguishing doctrine of Christianity, without which indeed the Gospel is a mere name, and incapable of consoling sinners, is doubtless justification by the grace of Christ through faith alone. See the testimony of this in Clement. It deserves to be distinctly remembered, as an unequivocal proof of the faith of the primitive church" -- Vol. I p. 79. From certain passages in this epistle, we apprehend that Clement was one of those "pious pastors" living at the close of the first century, who passed current for "ministers of righteousness," like the many in Sardis; but was in reality "dead," having to a considerable extent acknowledged "the depths of the Satan as they taught." Speaking of Peter, he says, "having suffered martyrdom, he departed to the due place of glory;" and of Paul, he says, "having suffered martyrdom from princes, he left the world, and reached the shore of a blessed immortality." This is Platonism, and stamps the faith of Clement with reprobation. If anything had gone to "the due place of glory" after Peter's death, it must have been, in Clement's opinion, what the heathen term his "immortal soul;" and if "the due place of glory" and "the shore of a blessed immortality" be somewhere arrived at before resurrection, the promises covenanted to Abraham and David are nullified as superfluous. A man holding such unscriptural notions is a very unfit exponent of "the faith of the primitive church." But in relation to justification, we rather think that "the evangelists" have misunderstood Clement. What he says above is true enough of the justification of sinners. These are justified by faith in baptism, if they believe the gospel of the kingdom in its mystery, their faith without regard to their previous works, good, bad, or indifferent, is counted to them for justification, at the time when they are in the act of obeying the truth, in being immersed. This is not the clerical idea of justification by faith alone. This consists in a sinner attaining to a persuasion that Jesus died for him; and that in having reached this conviction, the blood of Jesus is thereby applied to his immortal soul, and he is justified. This may be an instantaneous operation, and totally independent of all knowledge of the scriptures, as evinced by "conversions" every day. We do not believe that even Clement, who believed in the resurrection of the fabled Phoenix from its own ashes, had any idea of such a justification by faith alone as this; and sure we are, there is no such justification taught in the bible from one end of it to the other. Clement was treating of the justification of sinners; not of the justification of saints. Sinners are justified from all their past sins in the way stated, and so become saints. As saints, "faith alone" will not save them. James teaches this clearly. "By works a man is justified, and not by faith only." He is writing of a man, who, like Abraham, had already become a saint. The saints are justified by works, but the saint who seeks to be justified by, or to be pronounced "worthy," by faith alone, is like his faith, "dead;" for "faith without works is dead" -- dead as that of the many in Sardis. But, however heathenish some of his creed evidently was, Clement cannot be classed with the dead faiths in Sardis, upon the ground of denying the necessity of good works to the perfecting of a previous faith. He evidently believed it necessary for all saints, who would "be accounted worthy" by the Spirit, to be rich in good works. "Shall we," says he, "neglect good works? Does it hence follow that we should leave the law of loving obedience? God forbid; let us rather hasten with all earnestness of mind to every good work; for the Lord himself rejoices in his works. Having such a pattern how strenuously should we follow his will, and work the works of righteousness with all our might." They who pursued this course were pronounced "worthy." They "received" the gospel, and "heard" it by obeying it; and thenceforth, "patiently continuing in well-doing," sought thereby "glory, honour, incorruptibility and life" in the Aion -- Rom. 2:7. Thus, their faith was perfected by their works; and, as Jesus taught, "they were accounted worthy to obtain that Aion, and the resurrection from among the dead," after which "they can die no more; for they are equal to the angels; and are the Sons of the Deity being the children of the resurrection" -- Luke 20:35. In this way they are "clothed in white garments," and "walk with the Spirit in white robes; for they are worthy." 3. "The Book of Life" Even the few names in Sardis had to save themselves by their perseverance, upon the principle that "he who perseveres to the end shall be saved." Hence, the Spirit saith, "the victor, he shall be clothed in white garments." This is positive. But in order that he may be assured of the perpetuity of his clothing, that it shall never wax old, as garments are accustomed to do, it is added, "And I will not at all obliterate his name from the Scroll of the Life." In the English Version, this is rendered "book of life" without the definite article; but in my translation I have prefixed it to life as in the original. It is the scroll of the life, that is, of a special life. The first place in the New Testament where this phrase occurs is in Phil. 4:3. Here Paul mentions certain "whose names are in a book of life" -- en biblo zois; among whom is Clement, one of his fellow-laborers; but, whether the same Clement, who wrote about "the due place of glory," can only be conjectured. It next occurs in Apoc. 13:8 and 17:8. In the former it is styled "the Scroll of the Life of the Lamb slain;" and in the latter, simply "the Scroll of the Life." It is next found in ch. 20:12, 15. In the former of these verses, it is termed "another Scroll which is of the life;" and in the latter as elsewhere. In ch. 21 it is "the Scroll of the life of the Lamb;" and in ch. 22:19, the phrase is "a Scroll of the life," the article the being omitted before "Scroll." These are all the places where it occurs in the New Testament. This is the most important of all books; for if a man's name have not been inscribed upon it, he cannot possibly be saved; for it is written that whosoever of the dead, small and great, standing before the Deity at the opening of the Scrolls, shall not be found written in the Scroll of the life, shall be cast into the lake of the fire. These are those who worship the Beast, by whom the saints have been overcome. From these testimonies there would appear to be two scrolls, -- the one styled a scroll of the Life, and the other the scroll of the Life These two scrolls are opened at the setting up of "the Great White Throne" of judgment, at the epoch of resurrection. Certain things having been written in these scrolls, the resurrected are judged from them. These things are their works. One of these scrolls will present a very unseemly aspect -- a sort of Every-Day Book of Life, in which names of believers are inscribed with very disreputable mementoes appended to each. These will find no admission to "the other scroll which is of the life" -- the Ledger of the Life, to which those names may be supposed to be transferred from the Every-Day Book, that are now condemned to obliteration. The dead constituents of the Angel of the ecclesia in Sardis, together with the few undefiled ones there, had all been written in the Every-Day Book of the Life; and their works inscribed under their respective names: and the general record of this scroll is read in the writing penned by John. He shows that the works therein recorded resolved themselves into two classes; the one signalized by the words "thou art dead" after their names, and the other by the sentence, "their garments undefiled." Now of these classes, the names of the latter alone will be transferred to the Ledger; while the names of the former will be obliterated or excluded. The confession of names in the presence of the Father and in the presence of his messengers, will be read, not from the Every-Day Book, but from the Ledger of the Lamb's Life, which contains the register of names inscribed there, apo kataboles kosmou, from the foundation of the order of things extant. This is styled the scroll of the life in allusion probably to the custom of oriental monarchs, who, as they had several books for the record of things, so they had a peculiar book, in which they entered the names and actions of all those who did them any special service, that they might reward them in due time. See Esther 6:1-3, where it is styled "the Book of Records of daily affairs." The Scriptures make very early mention of the existence of such a book before the Lord. Moses refers to it in Exod. 32:32, saying, "If thou wilt, forgive thou Israel's sin; if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. And Yahweh said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book." The Spirit in David says, "Are not my tears in thy book?" that is, "Are not my sorrows in thy remembrance?" Hence "book" and "remembrance" are associated in Mal. 3:16, where it is styled "a book of remembrance;" as, "They that feared Yahweh spake often one to another; and Yahweh hearkened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared Yahweh, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith Yahweh of armies, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will have compassion upon them as a man hath tender affection for his own son that serveth him." This is evidently the book of the life, or the Ledger; for all written in it are precious with God in a day when the wicked are trodden down. Daniel also refers to the same book in testifying that, in the time of trouble when the books shall be opened, "every one of his people (the Saints) shall be delivered that shall be found written in the book" -- 12:1. The ledger book of the life is styled apocalyptically "the Scroll of the life of the Lamb slain" -- Rev. 13:8; 21:27. It is contrary to the law of symbol-writing to regard this as a book in the vulgar sense. There is something in the real thing to which a book of record has some resemblance or analogy. Such a book is for remembrance of deeds. Hence the name given to the book of life in Malachi (which in the Old Testament includes both the Day Book and the Ledger) "a Book of Remembrance." Scroll, then in this relation, is symbolical of remembrance by whatever system of means it may be compassed. "I will remember their sins no more," which is equivalent to, "I will blot out the record of their sins from the book of my remembrance;" or I will pardon them. Hence to pardon is equivalent to inscribing the name of the subject in the Day book of the life; or to placing him in God's remembrance for resurrection unto life even for the life procured by the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, if found to be "worthy." But, how is a man's name inscribed on the memory of God for resurrection? In answer to this, it must be remarked, that the Spirit of the Invisible One is the remembrance of His dominion. Whatever the Spirit remembers is written, so to speak, in the book of remembrance before God. "God is Spirit; and they who worship him must worship him in Spirit and truth" -- John 4:24. Pardon is the result of Spirit-and-truth worship. Now the relation subsisting between the Spirit and the Truth is one of intellectual and moral identity; so that he who hath the truth hath in him the mind, the thinking, and teaching of the Spirit: but he that hath not the truth, is destitute of the Spirit, and not a true worshipper. It is the Spirit-Word that quickeneth; and therefore Jesus says, "It is the Spirit which is life making; Spirit is and life is the words which I speak to you" -- John 6:63. And again, he says, "The Spirit of the truth proceedeth from the Father" -- 6:26; and, "The Spirit of the truth shall guide you into all the truth" -- 16:13; and bring all things to your remembrance" -- 14:26; and John, the beloved disciple of Jesus, adds, "the Spirit is the truth" -- 1 John 5:6. We are considering things mental, not physical. The Spirit in its physical relations is the divine power that creates, fashions, and sustains all things; and will raise the dead, and subdue all things to God. But in opening men's eyes, and turning them from ignorance to knowledge, and from the service of the adversary to God; and in recording them in his remembrance, it is the truth believed and obeyed that is the agency employed. The Spirit is the Remembrancer; or symbolically, "the Scroll or Book." It is by the truth, called "the word of the truth of the gospel of the kingdom," (Acts 20:24, 25; Col. 1:5, ) believed and obeyed, that relations are established between men and God. This is the spiritual connecting medium that links them to his throne in their present state; and, though men in the general think very little of "the truth," because they are natural liars and ignorant of it; yet His eyes are ever upon it, and he has "magnified it above all his name." "Sanctify them by thy truth; thy word is truth" -- John 17:17; and, "Ye have purified your souls in the obedience of the truth through Spirit." Hence, the truth is sanctifying and purifying; and, as the truth is God's, and precious to him, and always before his mind, the sanctified are his peculiar treasure. Their names are therefore inscribed in his book of remembrance by their union to the truth in the obedience it enjoins. Paul styles the baptized believers in Corinth, "an epistle of Christ written with spirit of the living God." The writing, he says, was done through him and Timothy, as the instruments. God, Paul, spirit, and Corinthian hearts held a similar relation to each other in the writing of the epistle, (and all similar churches collectively, made, as it were, a Book of Epistles,) that head, pen, ink, and paper, do to an ordinary letter. The mentality of God was by the process stamped upon Corinthian hearts, so that they became part of his thoughts; and while he is written upon their memory, they are also written upon his, who is the way, the truth, the resurrection, and the life. Hence, to be written in the scroll of the life, is to be "in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Chirst," and they in him by the Spirit -- truth dwelling in their hearts -- 2 Cor. 3:3; 1 Thess. 1:1; Eph. 3:17; John 6:54, 56. God, or the Father, manifested through his Sons by the Spirit, which is the one God-manifestation to us, (see 1 Cor. 8:5, 6) is the Arboretum of the lives. Wherefore, to be in the book of the life is to be part, and to have part, of the tree of life, as it is styled in the English Version. This understood, will account for a various reading in the Greek text of Rev. 22:19. Book of Life and Tree of Life are different symbols related to the same thing. The oldest manuscripts extant read, "God shall take away his part from the tree of life;" but more recent ones "out of the book of life." 4. "The Life of the Lamb"
The life of the book is peculiar. It is "the life of the Lamb slain." The present life is hereditary and natural. It comes to us based upon the sympathies of flesh, which "profits nothing" in relation to that which is "the Lamb's." He gave his life as a price for the purchase of life for many brethren -- Matt. 20:28. It is therefore styled "the life of the Lamb slain;" and a right to it is predicated on a "justification unto life" which results to a believer from the obedience of faith, or doing the commandments of God -- Rev. 22:14. The dead enter upon this life, then, by resurrection, because of righteousness. Sin was the original cause of their death, for "the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit (gives) life because of righteousness" -- Rom. 8:10. From the very nature of things, therefore, the righteous, or the Saints, they who are sanctified by the truth, they only can be on record in God's remembrance for the life of the Aions. All others inherit the life of flesh because they are flesh; and have an existence bounded thereby, because they walk after the flesh, in the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life. Thus, death and corruption are the horizon of the flesh; incorruptibility, life, honor, and glory, the boundless expanse to them who sow to the Spirit of God. "If ye live after the flesh ye shall die, but if, through the Spirit, ye do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit (or the truth) of God, they are the Sons of God" -- Rom. 8:13, 14; Gal. 6:8, 9. But "the scroll of the Lamb's Life" is not yet opened. When the Lord God shall have judged the Woman Jezebel, who sits upon the Scarlet Beast of the many waters; when he shall have killed the beast with the sword (Rev. 13:10, ) and have utterly burned her with fire, (Rev 18:6-8, ) he will have "prevailed," and, in prevailing, have opened the Book of Epistles, the Book of Seals, and the Little Book of Vials. But in order to open these, he must first open the Book of the Lamb's Life. It is as necessary to the opening of the first three books, that "truth should spring out of the earth," as that "righteousness should bow down from the heavens" -- Psal. 85:11; for the Lord Jesus above, and the Saints, his brethren, at present in the earth beneath, are the associates to whom it is appointed to cooperate with the Spirit in the execution of "the judgment written" -- Psal. 149:5-9. He who was dead, but now is living for the Aions, has the keys of the invisible and of death which reigns there -- Rev. 1:18, so that until he appears, "the Gates of the Invisible" -- Matt. 16:18, will remain closed upon the Saints, and the Book of the Life will be unopened. Their resurrection is the opening of the Book of Life, or God's remembrance of them practically demonstrated in their deliverance from death. Spirit-truth inscribed them on his memory, and Spirit-power, the same Spirit of God that revealed the doctrine through prophets and apostles, raises them from the dead, or opens the gates of the invisible, by Jesus; and then will be verified the words of Paul, who says, "If the spirit of him who raised up Jesus from among the dead dwell in you, he who raised up the Christ from among the dead shall make alive your mortal bodies by means of his spirit indwelling among you" -- Rom. 8:11. "I am always bearing about the putting to death of the Lord Jesus in the body, that the life also of Jesus, (the Lamb's life,) may be manifested in our body. For we, the living, are always exposed to death on account of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh." And, "he who raised up the Lord Jesus shall also raise us up by Jesus, and shall present us with you," when "mortality shall be swallowed up by life" -- 2 Cor. 4:10, 11, 14; 5:4. This is the Lamb's life -- immortality of body, a living incorruptible body, evolved from the ashes of the former body by the Spirit of God, therefore a Spiritual Body, or Spirit, which are equivalent terms in the case; born from the invisible by resurrection, which is the opening of the house of death. Thus, "that which has been produced from the Spirit is spirit" -- John 3:6. The resurrected spirit-body is one of "the invisible things" of the Aion to come, and therefore aionian, in the Common Version termed "eternal." It is the aionian house -- the house aionian from heaven, and in the heavens -- which is explained in the words, "Our commonwealth subsists in heavens, out of which also we wait for a deliverer, the Anointed Lord Jesus, who shall remodel, the body of our humiliation, that it may become conformable to the body of his glory" -- 2 Cor. 5:2-4; Phil. 3:20, 21. The beginning of the citizenship is the putting on Christ as the righteousness of the adopted. Hence it is written, "as many of you (believers) as have been immersed into Christ, have put on Christ" -- Gal. 3:27. Christ Jesus who is in the heavens, is "put on" by individuals on earth, who "believe the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the Name of Jesus Christ, and are immersed" -- Acts 8:12. In doing this, their citizenship begins; and it begins in the heavens, because Christ, whom they put on, is in the heavens. In so becoming citizens of Israel's Commonwealth, their citizenship is recorded in the Every-Day Book of the Lamb's Life -- their names are borne on his breast, after the type of the names of the twelve tribes of Israel being borne on the breast of Aaron, when he wore the official breastplate on which they were engraved. In other words, the Lord Jesus Christ, the High Priest after the Order of Melchizedec, (Psal. 110:4; Heb. 5:6; 6:20; 7:17, 21; Zech. 6:13, ) though personally absent from earth, is, by the Spirit, not far from every one of us (Acts 17:27, 28.) He is still as observant and forecasting of the truth as he was in the days of the apostles, although, indeed, he abstains from direct miraculous interposition in its behalf. When one believes and obeys the truth, he becomes "known of God," and therefore of Christ -- Gal. 4:9; for to come in obedience of faith to the knowledge of God in Christ-manifestation, is to be known and acknowledged of him. Christ is in his heart by faith, (Eph. 3:17, ) and he is in Christ's heart, or breast, on the same principle -- Christ in the believer, the believer in Christ, and Christ in God: and therefore, the believer "in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ." This is what "the obedience of faith" accomplishes for a man in the present state. Now such a citizen is in a waiting position. His faith lays hold of Christ within the vail. His thinking concentrates there. On earth bodily, his mind is anchored with the vail -- Heb. 6:19; for the "anchor of his soul" is the hope of Christ's departure from the far country where he now is; and that he may unveil himself, the vail of mortal flesh being no longer a curtain excluding the believer from "seeing him as he is" -- 1 Jno. 3:2. His hope is, the manifestation of Jesus ex ouranou, out of heaven. Thus, he is looking, or waiting, for him, that he may come and remodel or transform him in the twinkling of an eye -- 1 Cor. 15:51, 52; or, if he may have been previously "laid aside" in the earth, that he may build him up, and convert his mortal remains into "a house not made with hands," that it may become a habitation for God, who shall dwell in it by Spirit -- Eph. 2:22; -- a habitation produced by Jesus Christ, the life-imparting Spirit, at his appearing and therefore styled, to oiketerion hemon to ex ouranou, our habitation from heaven. The putting on additionally (ependusasthai, aor. 1. infin, mid., the word used by Paul 2 Cor. 5:2, and rendered in the C.V. "to be clothed upon") the present nature of Christ, as it was added to his mortal body; or the clothing of our flesh with incorruptibility and life, is "presence with the Lord." When the body of our humiliation is conformed to the body of his glory, "we shall be like him," and "see him as he is;" and not before. Till this corporeal transformation is effected, we are "absent from the Lord." It cannot possibly be otherwise; for until "the books are opened," none are delivered; for until then judgment is not declared;" nor can any man "enter into the temple till the seven vial-plagues are fulfilled" -- Rev. 15:8; and much of the seventh remains to be fulfilled by the conjoint operation of Messiah and the Saints. The temple in the heaven is undeveloped. It does not exist in the "far country" where Jesus is now; but belongs to his Aion on the earth. He comes to cooperate with the Saints in its development. When the work is finished they will be with him "in the heavens;" and no more plagues will afflict the world for a thousand years. The books are not yet opened. This being indisputable, it is certain that no dead saint is with the Lord, or in heaven. No reward is given till the book of life is opened: and that book will not be opened until all have been recorded there, who may yet obtain right to the wood of life composed of many trees. "Thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just" -- Luke 14:14; and "the Son of Man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and Then (after this event) He shall reward every man according to his works" -- Matt. 16:27; and again, "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, Then (after this coming) shall he sit upon the throne of his glory" -- Matt. 25:31. These are "the wholesome words of the Lord Jesus" published to Israel in his proclamation of the gospel of the kingdom; and they define with great exactness the time of the opening of the book of his life -- at the resurrection when he comes to sit upon the throne of his glory; this is the great epoch of judgment and reward. It is the Lamb's life as opposed to the first Adam's life; and to that hypothetical existence, fabricated by the philosophizings of Sin's flesh. Adam's life is flesh sustained in action by blood, air, and electricity, or by digestion and respiration; and transmitted by natural laws. The fabulous existence elaborated by the unenlightened thinking of Sin's flesh, is that theory upon which all superstition is based -- the conceit of an inborn ghost, deathless and having independent existence, apart from all corporeality. This incorporeal abstraction the Devil, that is, Sin's Flesh, has denominated "The immortal soul." This serpentine philosopher, whose pious lucubrations "deceive the whole world' -- Rev. 12:9; 20:2, 3 -- teaches, that it is "the vital principle," the real man, and the true image and likeness of his Maker! Religion, he says, is for the preventing of all immortal ghosts who sincerely repent of their sins from falling into eternal torments, to which they are all liable by an eternal decree; and for their emigration from earth on angels' wings to kingdoms beyond the skies! This is the gospel of the Archdeceiver of the world; and preached substantially by all the "Holy Orders" of his establishment; and all mankind, in their Names and Denominations of Blasphemy, go "wondering after" the abomination. So long as the serpent in the flesh can charm them with such vanity they will remain unregistered in the book of the Lamb's life, and be obnoxious to the plagues of the Little Book in which it is written, that "for the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and harlotists, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and for all the liars (the "clergy") their part is in the lake burning with fire and brimstone," being there "tormented in the presence of the holy messengers, and in the presence of the Lamb" -- Rev. 21:8; 14:10; 19:20; 20:14, 15. The life purchased by Jesus for his brethren has no affinity with such a fiction. He purchased life for dead bodies; not happiness for immortal ghosts. "This is the testimony, that God gives aionian life to us, and this life is in his Son; he who hath the Son, hath the life; he who hath not the Son of God, hath not the life" -- 1 Jno. 5:11, 12; and "shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides upon him" Jno. 3:36. 5. "Confess His Name."
It is promised to him who shares in "the victory," that he shall, not only "be clothed" with incorruption, and "his name" remain perpetually inscribed among the deathless; but that his name shall be honorably mentioned in the august presence of the Eternal Majesty of the Universe, and before his angelic hosts. This promise to the undefiled, whether in Sardis or elsewhere, at that time or in previous and after ages and generations, reads in the English Version, "I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." The word in the original is emphatic. It is not simply omologesomai, but the same word with the preposition ex prefixed "I will confess his name from out of" something. The import of this is, "I will connect myself with his name as one selected from among others, whom I reject, because their works have not been found perfected in the sight of the Deity." This is the renewal of the promise given by the Spirit through Jesus, and found in Matt. 10:32, and Luke 12:8. In these places, he says, "whosoever shall confess in me before men, in Him will I also confess before my Father who is in heaven;" and "whosoever shall confess in me before men, the Son of Man also will confess in him before the angels of the Deity." These, it will be seen, differ from the English Version, which makes no account of the proposition en, twice repeated in both of the original texts. In these it is en emoi and en auto, which I have rendered in me and in him, according to the primary signification of the word. The Spirit in Jesus promises here to be also in all who are in him, on condition of their confessing him before men. This excludes the notion, that the promise applies to men not in Christ who with their lips say, that they believe that Jesus is the Christ. Such a confession as this was made by the demonized; or men who, in the nomenclature of Luke, had each "a spirit of an unclean demonion." Under the influence of this affection, they confessed, that Jesus was the Christ, the Holy One, the Son of the Deity -- Luke 4:34, 41. But this confession availed them nothing; for, he rebuked them, and put them to silence. This, nevertheless, was confession before men; but it was a confession that did not proceed from men of the right class, the class defined in the text. The demonized were not in the Spirit, nor was the Holy Spirit in them. The spirit in them was the spirit of their flesh insanely excited. They were madmen "in the flesh," whose confession the Eternal Spirit would not accept. And to descend from the first to the nineteenth century, we find society almost entirely constituted of the demonized. The Spirit testifies this in the saying, that "all the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of the Great Harlot's prostitution" -- Apoc. 17:2. The people and their spiritual guides are thoroughly imbued with "an unclean spirit," by which they are bewitched in all their parts and faculties. They are all, as Paul predicted they would be, in apostasy "from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits, even to the teachings of Daemonia, falsely speaking in hypocrisy: their own conscience having been cauterized; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats" -- 1 Tim. 4:3. Such are the Demonia defined by Paul. Society is full of them; for every occupant of a pulpit that does not preach the gospel of the kingdom which he proclaimed, is a deceiver teaching falsely, and therefore, as Paul styles him, "a deceiving spirit," or "Daimonion." When these, and the multitudes they call "their people," confess that "Jesus is Christ, the Son of God," it is the unsanctified confession of the demonized. They are not "in Christ," for they have neither "received" his doctrine, nor "heard," or obeyed it in the obedience it prescribes. The promise of the Spirit, then, that He will confess in them in the Father's presence, and in that of his angels, is not to individuals clerically demonized. The promise is to those "in" the Promiser. The testimony in Matthew and Luke was spoken primarily to the disciples in the presence of Jesus; and, secondarily, to all disciples in Christ in after times. In the discourse, he alluded to the persecution they would have to endure on his account. That it would be persecution unto death; which, however, they might escape, if they would deny him and the truth. But, being in him, he exhorted them to steadfastness; so that, if they should lose their soul or life (tin psuchen) for his sake, they should find it, in the Spirit's confessing in them before the Father and his angels. Many in Christ apostatized, or "departed from the faith," when they were brought to the test of "confessing before men" in authority and power, at the risk of property, liberty, and life. Like Demas, they forsook Christ, "having loved this present world;" and will, consequently, be denied hereafter. It may not be amiss to remind the reader here, that to be in the Spirit who speaks to the undefiled in Sardis, is to have the faith, which is "the substance of things hoped for, and the conviction of the things unseen;" and to have it so as to love it, that the faith may work in him by love, and purify his affections; and that being thus prepared, to be immersed into the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. When he has been the subject of this transforming operation, by which his moral nature and state have been changed, the words of the apostle, in Gal. 3:26-29, are applicable to him: "Thou art a son of the Deity in Jesus Anointed through the faith; for as many as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ: and if Christ's, then Abraham's Seed, and heirs according to promise." Such an one is "in God the Father, and in the Lord Jesus Anointed," and therefore in the Spirit -- 1 Thess. 2:1; and competent to confess in him before men. Having shown this, it remains to define how the Spirit will himself confess such a confessor before the Father and the angels. "I will confess his name before my Father." This is the apocalyptic equivalent for "I will confess in him." In John 17:22, Jesus prays to the Father that all his brethren "may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one." To be made perfect is to be raised from among the dead, and made incorruptible and deathless. Thus Jesus was "perfected the third day" -- Luke 12:32; Heb. 5:9; and became the Author of aion-salvation to all who obey him. A saint made perfect in this sense is as much "spirit" as Jesus now is; for John, speaking of what the saints shall be when made perfect, says, "we shall be like him, and see him as he is" -- 1 John 3:2. Then the prayer of the Logos, ascending from the mouth of Jesus to the Theos from whom it emanated, will be answered -- that "I," the Logos, may be "in them," the saints. When he is thus in them, their names will Stand out confessed -- exomologized -- before the Father of the glorified Jesus -- "the Spirit" -- and the angels. Hence, when this unity is established, whatever the Spirit confesses is confessed in them and in their midst; and he whom they have praised and honored in word and deed, in the present state, will celebrate their excellency in the future. 6. "His Name."
A name is representative of a person. It is a word or term by which an individual is designated. That which is inherited or bestowed at birth, indicates the relationship and attributes of flesh and blood to certain specialties. John Smith, by proving that he is the heir at law of the deceased William Smith, may inherit his estate; but in relation to "the life of the Lamb slain," there is nothing in the name "John Smith" that gives him any claim upon it. The scriptures, which treat of all things pertaining to life and godliness, have delineated the character to which all must be conformed who would be inscribed in the book of the Lamb's life. John Smith may have the name, or reputation, of being conformed to that character, while he is only so in pretence, or not really. He is, then, like the members of the Star-Angel in Sardis, who were "dead;" he has "a name that he lives;" but it is good for nothing. The name to be confessed before the Father is one that is "holy, unblameable, and unreproachable in his sight." It is representative of one who has "continued in the faith, grounded and settled, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel." This suggests a time when the subject received the name. It was not when he was born, or sprinkled according to the formula of the catechism children are taught by rote. It has no relation to human "godfathers and godmothers," who have been introduced by ignorance and superstition, as substitutes for the divine. The name is called upon the subject when faith is manifested in the obedience it prescribes. James styles it to kalon onoma, the honorable, excellent, or distinguished name, which had been called upon those to whom he wrote -- ch. 2:7; and Peter, in answer to the inquiry of the believing multitude on the day of Pentecost, told them to be "every one of them immersed upon the name of Jesus Anointed into remission of sins." Thus they were grafted, as it were, "upon the name," which became their designation before the Father. The subject having been called by this name in baptism, it became "his name" -- the name to be confessed if preserved undefiled, and were duly illustrated by him who had been ennobled by it. Many inherit the name of a distinguished ancestry, which is brought into contempt by their misdeeds; so there have been many who have disgraced the name, more exalted than any other name, to the privileges of which they have been introduced. Their character has not been conformed to the divine example incarnated in Jesus; "who, though he were a son, learned obedience by the things which he suffered;" having been obedient even unto death, his name became illustrious; but in their keeping after being named upon them, it became a by-word and reproach. But the undefiled in Sardis were not such. They preserved it unsullied; and in the name confessed, and kept it as their own to be celebrated by the Spirit in the presence of his Father and in the presence of his angels, the messengers of his power. "He that hath an ear let him hearken to what the Spirit saith to the ecclesias." SECTION 2.
TO THE ANGEL OF THE ECCLESIA IN PHILADELPHIA.
7. Also to the angel of the ecclesia in Philadelphia write; These things saith the holy one, the true one, he having the key of the David, opening and no one shutteth, and he shuts and no one openeth: 8. I have observed thy works; behold, I have placed before thee a door which hath been opened, and no one is able to shut it; because thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. 9. Behold, I give up out of the synagogue of the Satan them who say that they are Jews, yet are not, but do lie; behold I will cause them that they come and have prostrated themselves before thy feet, and that they may have known that I have loved thee. 10. Seeing that thou hast kept the word of my awaiting, I also will keep thee from the hour of the trial being about to come upon the whole habitable to prove them who dwell upon the earth. 11. Behold, I come quickly; hold fast what thou hast, that no one may have seized upon thy coronal wreath. 12. The victor, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my Deity, and he shall not at all go away out more; and I will write upon him the name of my Deity, and the name of the city of my Diety, the New Jerusalem, which descendeth out of the heaven from my Deity, even my new name. 13. He having an ear to hear let him hearken to what the Spirit saith to the ecclesias -- ch. 3:7-13. This epistle of the Spirit, like all the rest, is to the ecclesias, or associations of the called, in all the habitable of the Fourth Beast dominion, through the Angel-Presbytery of the ecclesia in Philadelphia. How many ruling and gift-possessing brethren the Philadelphian 'Angel' consisted of, cannot be told. We may conjecture, however, that there were not fewer than seven; to each of whom was given grace, or a spiritual gift, "according to the measure of the gift of Christ." This official seven may be enumerated as constituted of an apostle, a prophet, a teacher, an inworker of power, a healer of disease, a helper or discerner of spirits, a linguist, and an interpreter. These ranked in the order I have stated them, and being all inspired men constituted a "a star" of divine brightness to all in Philadelphia disposed to avail themselves of its light. They were what Paul styles in his letter to the Philippians, the Episcopoi and Diakonoi, the overseers and servants of the flock; and it is worthy of remark, that no accusation is brought against them, as in the case of the angels of Ephesus, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, and Laodicea; which were troubled with pastors of ambitious and haughty manners; and others who sought to figure as such as a means of emolument at the general expense -- merchandizers of souls, who saw no more in godliness than the lucre to be gained. 1. "The Holy and True." In the epistle before us, the Spirit presents himself as "the Holy One and True One:" as the Holy One of whom the prophets spake. In the vision which Isaiah saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem, he styles Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel -- ch. 1:4. He predicted that Judah would turn his back upon him; and that if "a very small remnant" had not been left, the nation would have become like Sodom and Gomorrha, and would have partaken of their fate. This "remnant" is that portion of the Jews which accept Jesus of Nazareth as "the Holy One of Ail;" who in Apoc. 1:18, says, "I am the First and the Last and the Living One; and I was dead, and behold I am living for the Aions of the Aions: the Amen." This is the Ail Givbor, the Hero-Power, or "Mighty God," to whom Shearyahshuv, or the "remnant shall return," called the remnant of Jacob, "which shall stay upon Yahweh the Holy One of Israel" Isa. 10:20, 21. If the reader peruse this prophet attentively, he will see that the Eternal Spirit, who styled himself Yahweh at the bush, identifies himself with "the Holy One," as in the form quoted, "Yahweh the Holy One of Israel." But in Hos. 11:9, the Spirit saith, "I will not Return to destroy Ephraim; for I am Ail, and not man, the Holy One in the midst of Israel." Now in Isai. 10:17, a distinction is apparent between Yahweh and the Holy One. Yahweh is there presented as "the Light of Israel for a fire;" and the Holy One as "His Holy One for a flame:" but in ch. 43:3, 11, he saith to Israel, "I am Yahweh thine Elohim, the Holy One of Israel, thy savior: I even I, Yahweh, and beside me there is no savior." Yet the Spirit saith to Ail, concerning his "flesh" or his "soul," "My flesh shall dwell in confidence; for thou wilt not leave my soul in Sheol (the place of the dead) nor wilt thou permit thy godly one to see corruption" -- Ps. 16:9. Here the "godly one" in death, the Spirit styles his flesh, or his soul. That dead flesh, or soul, was not the Holy One; but when that mortal and corruptible flesh, or soul, was made alive by the Spirit of Ail, it became the "Yahweh Elohim, the Holy One of Israel;" or Yahweh, and his Holy One" -- the Light, the Fire, and the Flame of Israel. "That which has been born out of the Spirit is spirit." The Spirit Logos first became flesh; and at its resurrection, that flesh became spirit; and therefore, "the Holy One and the True One;" for the Spirit is holiness and truth. The glorified Jesus is the Logos or Divine Spirit, in Holy-Spirit flesh -- pneuma hagiosunes -- the Holy and True One. Before he was "perfected by Spirit," in speaking the words of the Spirit, he said, "I am the Way, the truth, and the Life;" and "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father;" and the reason he gave was that he was "in the Father, and the Father in him" -- John 14:6, 9, 10. In reference to this Elohal manifestation of the truth, John says, "We know that the Son of the Deity hath come, and hath given to us understanding that we may know the True one -- and we are in the True one in His Son Jesus Anointed: the same is the true Deity and the Life of the Aion;" or Aion Life -- 1 Ep. 5:20. To be "in him" is "the Way;" therefore he is "the Way:" the True Deity is the Anointed Logos in flesh, styled "Jesus Anointed;" and therefore "the Truth;" and the Aion-Life is "Christ our life;" and therefore "the Life." "The law was given through Moses, the gracious gift and the truth came through Jesus Anointed" -- John 1:17. He that saw Jesus did not see that "gift and truth," which was Deity. John plainly declares this in the next verse, for he says, "No one hath seen Deity (or the Godhead, the Fountain and Origin of all things) at any time: the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath revealed him." Paul also testifies the same thing in 1 Tim. 6:16, saying, "No man hath seen, nor can see him." The Revealer, then, is the Faithful and True Witness, and what he saith about the Deity, his purposes, and so forth, is "the truth;" and that truth in its power, wisdom, and fulness, was deposited in Jesus; for "it pleased that all the fulness should dwell in him." The law contained the form of the knowledge and of the truth. It was only a shadow of future things; a figure for the time then present; the patterns of the things in the heavens; the antitypes of the true -- but the knowledge and the truth, and the heavenly things themselves, constituting "the body" or substance, are of "The anointed." Without the anointing there is nothing. 2. The Key of the House of David The Holy and True one is the possessor of the Key of David. He holds this, and the Keys of Hades and of Death; and the Key of the Abyss -- ch. 1:18; 20:1. A key is symbolical of power to open and shut; hence, the Anointed One saith in this writing, that he openeth and shutteth, and no one can prevent him. The key is styled "of the David," because there is a something connected with David to be opened and shut. This something is revealed in the prophets. There it is styled "the Key of the House of David;" that is, of his kingdom -- Isai. 22:22. In this chapter, two states of the Kingdom of David are prefigured by the names of two of Hezekiah's Officers -- Shebna and eliakim. The former, derived from shavah, "to lead captive," represents the kingdom in a dispersed and ruined condition; and the latter from AIL, God, and yahkim, "shall set up," indicates the restoration of the kingdom by Divine Power. Hence, Ail-yahkim, or Eliakim, is a typical name for the restoration power, which is Deity in David's Son, or the Christ. Of this Eliakim, the Spirit in Isaiah saith to Shebna, Hezekiah's treasurer, "I will call him, and clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand; and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. And the Key of the House of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him as a nail in an established habitation: and he shall be for a Throne of Glory for the house of his father. And they shall hang upon him all the glory of the house of his father, the earth-products and the shoots, all vessels of the small from vessels of the wash-troughs, even to all vessels of the skins." This is a very interesting typical prophesy. We presume, that no one will be so obtuse as to suppose that the things written were fulfilled in Eliakim the son of the Hilk-Yah. Very little is left on record concerning him in the bible. From this we learn, that while Shebna was Secretary of State and Treasurer, Eliakim was over the King's Household in Hezekiah's reign, and at the time of the destruction of the Assyrian host by a blast from Divine Power, and the consequent deliverance of Jerusalem and Judah from the oppressor. His name, the peculiar circumstances of the time, and his position in David's kingdom, all combined to make him a very fit person for a Messianic representative. Shebna was officially identified with the law which was to vanish away; while Eliakim was officially identified with the kingdom of David which Divine Power will set up when the time arrives to deliver the remnant of the captivity. The Ail-yakim, or Eliakim, typified, then, is "Messiah the Prince," in whom all is to be accomplished that was typically spoken of Eliakim. Shebna's robe, girdle, and government, are all to be transferred to the Christ; who will be both scribe and treasurer when Divine Power, or Ail, shall set up, yakim (or Eliakimize) the tabernacle of David which has fallen down, "and set it up as in the days of old" -- Acts 15:16; Amos 9:11. Then will he be "a Father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah." Isaiah remarks, that the Eliakim should wear his key upon his shoulder, as a mark of office, of his power to open and shut with authority; thereby indicating that he is the Grand Master and Chief of the House of David. Callimachus says, that Ceres carried a key upon her shoulder; a custom that appears very strange to us; but the ancients had large keys in the form of a sickle, and which from their weight and shape, could not otherwise be carried conveniently. For the key of the house of David, then, to rest upon the Eliakim's shoulder, is equivalent to the government of that house, or of Israel, resting there. This is evident from the prophet's allusion to "the shoulder" in ch. 9:6. In this place, speaking of the "Son to be given" to the house of David, who should be called Ail-Givbor, the Mighty Power, Avi-Ad, Father of Futurity, Sar-Shahlom, Prince of Peace, the Spirit says," "the government shall be upon his shoulder." This can mean nothing else than that the government then on the shoulder of Ahaz the reigning prince of Judah, should at some future time rest upon the shoulder of a Divine Son of David's house, named Immanuel or "God with us," as typified by one of the prophet's family: and this idea is symbolically expressed by the apocalyptic phrase, "I have the Key of the David, opening and no one shutteth, and shutting and no one openeth." "The key of the David" is an elliptical phrase. The words to be supplied are indicated by Isaiah: according to him, "house of," in the sense of kingdom of, should intervene between "key of the" and the name "David." Thus, the Spirit-Man who was dead and is living as the Holy One and the True God, in speaking to the Star-Angel in Philadelphia, and through them to all the ecclesias, declares that he is the Eliakim; and that the government of the kingdom of David is with him; and that holding the keys, he will "set it up as in the days of old." But furthermore, the Spirit-Man being the Ail-yakim, is also "the Nail" and the "Throne of Glory." "The words of the wise are as fastened nails given from one shepherd." The word of the only wise Deity when incarnated, is therefore fitly represented by "a nail fastened in a sure place." Of this nail, the Spirit in Zechariah said, that it should come out of Judah -- ch. 10:4. The "sure place" in which it is to be fastened, Ezra designates as "Yahweh Elohim's holy place," in which he and the remnant of the captivity returned from Babylon, were then sojourning; that is, in Jerusalem. This accords with the true import of oman , mahkom neamahn, which signifies an established habitation. This is the "sure place" in which the Nail is to be fastened -- in Jerusalem then a peaceable, quiet, and established habitation -- Isai. 32:18; 33:20. The Spirit-Man is also to be for "a Throne of Glory." A throne is an elevated seat with a canopy and hangings which cover it. Hence, the Eliakim in the passage before us, is styled metaphorically kissai, from the root kahsah "to cover." "He shall be for a Cover of Glory for the house of his Father;" for "He shall bear the glory, and sit and rule upon his throne" -- Zech. 6:13; he shall be "a wall of fire round about, and the Glory in the midst of Jerusalem" -- ch. 2:5. As the glory sat enthroned between the Cherubim in the times of the law, so it shall be seated upon the Eliakim and his brethren in the apocalyptic Aion of a thousand years. Isaiah saw this throne of glory in a vision, in the year that king Uzziah died. He tells us that it was an exalted throne, and that the King, Yahweh Tz'vaoth, was sitting upon it. Around it stood the Seraphim, who proclaimed superlative holiness, and announced that the whole earth was full of his glory -- ch. 6:1-5. This vision has been reproduced in Rev. 4, of which we shall treat more at large when we arrive at that chapter in our exposition. Isaiah tells us in regard to "the Nail," that all the glory of the house of the Eliakim's father shall be suspended upon him; and appositely informs us, that this glory consists of what in the Common Version is termed, "the offspring and the issue." These are in the original hatzeatzaim we-hatzphioth; literally, earth-products and shoots; in other words, those who, "sown in dishonor," are "raised in glory." They are styled also "all vessels of the small;" that is, "the poor of this world rich in faith, who are heirs of the kingdom," and termed "the small" in Rev. 11:18, in relation to "the great" -- the small, being compared to wash-troughs; and the latter, to the vessels made of skins to hold wine, and other choice fluids. Such is to be the glory that is permanently to cluster around the Eliakim. But before that glorious consummation is developed, the Spirit declared that "the Nail fastened in an established place shall depart: and it shall be cut off, and fall; and that suspended upon it shall be cut down: for Yahweh hath spoken." This cutting off the Nail, and his departure, occurred in the nailing of Jesus to the cross, and his subsequent assumption. The apocalypse symbolizes in "the Lamb slain" this cutting off, and in the tribulation or trial then "about to come upon the whole habitable," the cutting down of that suspended by faith upon the Nail. The Eliakim who hath the key of the house of David informs all of the Philadelphian class of saints, that he opens and shuts, and none can hinder. He reminds them that an open door had been set before them. He had sent Paul to Ephesus, where he continued, "disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of the Deity," for two whole years; "so that all they that dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks" -- Acts 19:8-10. Hence, the Philadelphians, being inhabitants of Asia, had heard it among the rest. During all that time he opened his mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the Gospel. The result was that they came to the understanding of "the word" and confessed "the name," which, owing to the "little strength" they still retained when the apocalypse was written, they had "kept" and "not denied." They had learned "the things of the Kingdom" or "the word;" and "the things of the Name." That kingdom was the subject-matter of "the word," styled by Isaiah "the law and the testimony;" and which is the rule of speaking for all who walk in the light. They knew that it was the Kingdom of David to be set up by the Deity of the heavens in the land of Israel; that it was to consist of the twelve tribes grafted into their own Olive Tree upon their acknowledgment of Jesus as King of Israel; and that, although they were by nature aliens from the Commonwealth of Israel, the "Strait Gate" and "Narrow Way" had been "set before them as an open door, which no one could shut." Peter had opened the door or gate which gave admission into "the way" which leads to the Kingdom. He had opened it to the Jew on Pentecost, and to the nations at the house of Cornelius; not, indeed, by his own power, but by His which descended upon him in baptism of spirit, even by the power of Him "who openeth and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens." "The keys of the kingdom of the heavens" having been thus apostolically employed, the Philadelphians were all alive to the Spirit's allusion to the key of the house of David in his possession. This announcement would fall powerless upon the ear of modern clerical assemblies. These have no more interest in David the son of Jesse than had the revolters against David's house in the days of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who caused Israel to go a whoring after the calves at Bethel. Not so the Philadelphians. They had kept the word of the kingdom treasured up in their affections; so that any mention of the Key of David would be responded to with heartfelt and abiding interest and joy. But, they had not only kept the word of the Spirit, they had also "not denied his Name." They were not contaminated with the current heresies which denied that he had been manifested in Sin's flesh. They kept the word of the kingdom against those who made it of none effect by teaching that souls went to kingdoms beyond the skies at death; and they held fast to the Spirit's name against those who abolished it by their gnosis and oppositions of science, falsely so called; which were the pith and poison, or "divinity" of the Synagogue of the Satan, as at this day. The Synagogue of the Satan with its clergy were arrayed against those who kept the word and held fast the name, in every city. The Satanists, as they have done ever since, contended that they were the true Jews; the genuine Israel of God. They contended for the ascendancy, and at length attained it; and when they had established their usurpation over the faithful, they aimed at supremacy in the Roman State, and acquired it also; upon which they turned round upon their former brethren, and persecuted them to bonds, imprisonment, and death. They scorned the idea of the humble poor in Christ being the special objects of his affection; and not such men as Origen and Eusebius, "the transformed ministers of the Satan." But, "the seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of the Deity, were gone forth into all the earth." He had observed their works. He saw that they were irreclaimable; therefore he said, "Behold, I give up out of the Synagogue of the Satan them who say that they are Jews, yet are not, but do lie." The Spirit would abandon them to their own delusions, as Paul had predicted in 2 Thess. 2:10, saying, "Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved, the Deity for this cause shall send upon them Strong Delusion, that they should believe a lie; that they all might be condemned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness" -- that system of doctrine they style "orthodoxy." They were not Jews. The true faith was not in them; and consequently, although immersed, they were not in Christ; and not being "in him" they could not be Abraham's Seed, and were not therefore "heirs according to the promise." But though to be given up as reprobates, they were not to go unpunished. They were to be subjected to "an hour of trial being about to come upon the whole habitable to make proof of them who dwell upon the earth." This was a proximate visitation. A remoter and ultimate one was in store for them, which would result in their acknowledgment of those who kept the word, and denied not the Spirit's name, as his beloved; and not only so, but that they shall come up, and prostrate themselves at the feet of those they have despised. "Behold, I will bring upon them," saith the Spirit, even calamity, when they shall "be tormented in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb" -- "that they may have come and prostrated before thy feet, and may have known that I have loved thee." 3. The Hour of Trial. But while they of the synagogue of the Satan were to be subjected to great calamity in all the Roman Habitable, the Star-Angel and ecclesia of Philadelphia, contemporary with the apostle John, together with all the ecclesias who "kept the word of the patient waiting for Christ," were to be preserved from it. The words of the Spirit to the ecclesias are, "Seeing that thou hast kept the word of the patient waiting for me, I also will keep thee from the hour of the trial being about to come upon the whole habitable to make proof of them who dwell upon the earth." This "hour of trial" was not to arrive in the lifetime of that generation of saints. It was an hour "being about to come;" that is, in their future, or, as the event proved, in a.d. 248; about one hundred and fifty years after the apocalypse was revealed. This afforded time for the Satanists to fill up the measure of their iniquity, and for the faithful to depart to their graves in peace; for a long peace of thirty-seven years preceded the outbreak of the fiery trial under the emperor Decius. During this tranquility, historians testify that "a deep declension from Christian purity had taken place, not only in the East, where false philosophy aided its progress, but also in the West, where the operation of no peculiar cause can be traced beyond the common influence of prosperity on human depravity. This is completely evident from Cyprian's account; and it deserves to be remarked, that the first grand and general declension after the primary effusion of the Divine Spirit, should be fixed about the middle of the Third Century -- Milner Eccl. Hist., p. 165. As we have said, a hundred and fifty years had elapsed from the writing of this epistle to the Philadelphians, to the beginning of this judgment upon the House of God, for the ecclesias in general, or collectively, were still "his habitation through the Spirit," inasmuch as he had not then as yet "spued" the delinquents "out of his mouth." During this period of a century and a half, the state of things exhibited in the New Testament grew worse and worse; and it may be generally remarked, that the same opposition to the Name of the Spirit, termed by historians "the Deity of Christ or his manhood," and the same insidious methods of depreciating or abusing "the word of the kingdom," or "the word of the patient waiting for Christ," continued in all this period, which had begun in the time of the apostles, with this difference, that they were now multiplied, varied, complicated, and refined by endless subtleties and fancies, in which the poverty of taste and genius, so common in a period when letters are declining, discovers itself no less than the christian doctrine. Nevertheless, in the midst of this wide-spread and general corruption of faith and practice, the faithful still kept themselves separate and distinct, and preserved their garments from defilement. The elevation of Decius to supreme power was fatal to multitudes of professing christians, who were unable to stand the trial of their principles; and in their fall proved themselves to be of the synagogue of the Satan, and not Jews, but liars. The enmity of Decius to his predecessor Philip, (whom Eusebius styles a christian, although a murderer and profligate, who had not obeyed the truth,) conspired with his pagan prejudices to bring on the most dreadful persecution christianity had yet experienced. The Hour of the Trial had arrived, and it was evident to its contemporaries, that nothing less than the extermination of the christian name was intended. "The chronology," says Milner, "is here remarkably embarrassed." He therefore conjectures that the period extended to a.d. 260. The persecution raged with astonishing fury, beyond the example of former persecutions, both in the East and West, or, in the words of the Spirit, epi tes oikoumenes holes, upon the whole habitable. In a treatise by Cyprian concerning "The Lapsed," there is an affecting account of the declension from christianity, which had taken place before his conversion in a.d. 246, and which moved the Deity to chastise the body. "If the cause of our miseries," says he, "be investigated, the cure of the wound may be found. The Lord would have his family to be tried. And because long peace had corrupted the discipline divinely revealed to us, the heavenly chastisement hath raised up our faith, which had lain almost dormant; and when, by our sins, we had deserved to suffer still more, the merciful Lord so moderated all things, that the whole scene rather deserves the name of a trial than a persecution" -- a peirasmos rather than a thlipsis, a distinction which obtains in Rev. 2:10, and ch. 3:10. Cyprian then proceeds to narrate the manifest cause of this trial that was to try, or put the professions of the christians of previous peaceable and prosperous times to the proof. "Each," says he, "had been bent on improving his patrimony; and had forgotten what believers had done under the apostles, and what they ought always to do. They were brooding over the arts of amassing wealth. The pastors and their deacons each forgot their duty. Works of mercy were neglected, and discipline was at the lowest ebb. Luxury and effeminacy prevailed. Meretricious arts in dress were cultivated. Fraud and deceit were practiced among bethren. Christians could unite themselves in matrimony with unbelievers; and could swear, not only without reverence, but even without veracity. With haughty asperity they despised their ecclesiastical superiors; they railed against each other with outrageous acrimony, and conducted quarrels with determined malice. Even many bishops, who ought to be guides and patterns to the rest, neglecting the peculiar duties of their stations, gave themselves up to secular pursuits. They deserted their places of residence and their flocks. They travelled through distant provinces in quest of pleasure and gain; gave no assistance to the needy brethren, but were insatiable in their thirst for money. They possessed estates by fraud, and multiplied usury. What have we not deserved to suffer for such conduct? The Divine Word hath foretold us what we might expect, saying, 'If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments, I will visit their offences with the rod, and their sin with scourges.' These things had been denounced and foretold, but in vain: our sins had brought our affairs to that pass, that because we had despised the Lord's directions, we were obliged to undergo a correction of our multiplied evils and a trial of our faith by severe remedies." Even Origen, as worldly a professor of the faith as any of his day, intimates that the long peace which the body -- with only the short interruption of Maximin's persecution -- had enjoyed, was followed by a great degree of lukewarmness and even of much religious indecorum. "Several," says he, "come to church only on solemn festivals; and then not so much for instruction as diversion. Some go out again as soon as they have heard the lecture, without conferring or asking the pastors any questions; others stay not till the lecture is ended; and others hear not so much as a single word, but entertain themselves in a corner of the church." But, "like priest like people." These were what their leaders had made them; for it is "the leaders of the people that cause them to err." The ability faithfully to dispense the truth had become rare, as well as the taste for such employment; and Origen complains of the ambitious and haughty manners of pastors, and of the improper steps which some took to obtain preferment. During the trial frequent communications passed between the christians in Rome and Carthage to which Cyprian belonged. The Roman brethren represent the conflict as very important, and one which God had now permitted for the trial of his servants. They said, it was the express purpose of God to manifest both to angels and men, that the conqueror shall be crowned, and the conquered, that is, the faithless apostate, be self-condemned. This was doubtless an allusion to the testimony in the letters to Smyrna and Philadelphia; in the former of which, it is written, "Be faithful until death, and I will give thee the coronal wreath of the life;" and in the latter, "Hold fast what thou hast, that no one take thy coronal wreath," stephanon, or "crown." In speaking of the effects of the trial, they say, "Behold, almost the whole world (or habitable) is laid waste: fragments of the fallen lie in every place. With one and the same counsel, with unanimous prayers and tears, let us -- who seem hitherto to have escaped the ruins of this visitation, as well as those who have not stood entirely faithful during the persecution, entreat the Divine Majesty, and beg peace, in the name of the whole church." "The management of this persecution," says Milner, "seems to have been the whole employment of the magistrates. Swords, wild beasts, pits, red hot chains, wheels for stretching human bodies, and talons of iron to tear them; these were at this time the instruments of pagan vengeance. Malice and covetousness in informing against christians were eagerly and powerfully set to work during this horrible reign: and the genius of men was never known to have had more of employment in aiding the savageness of the heart. Life was prolonged in torture, in order that impatience in suffering might effect at length, what surprise and terror could not." It was not a local or intermitting, but an universal and constant persecution. The lightning of the Decian rage refined and cleared the whole christian atmosphere. No doubt, the effects were salutary in preventing the extinction of the truth, which was rapidly expiring. The storm proved fatal to many who could not stand the trial, but apostatized; and christianity was in that way, cleared of many false friends; who, in the time of peace, said "they were Jews, but were not, and did lie; but were of the synagogue of the Satan." 4. "The Patient Waiting" The ground of escape from "the hour of trial," which was to be so terrible, was stated to be "the keeping of the word of the patient waiting for the Spirit." The importance of this word may be estimated by the severity of the chastisement for its neglect. The coming of the Spirit-Man is the thing waited for; and the teaching which creates this expectation is "the word of the patient waiting for." Wherever the truth was received as the result of divine teaching, the earnest and joyous expectation of the return of the glorified Jesus became a prime article of faith. This appears from many places in the New Testament. When Paul went to Thessalonica he proclaimed the royalty of Jesus, and his return to rule the whole habitable -- that there is another King than Caesar, even Jesus. Many of Caesar's subjects believed him; and, in consequence, threw away their idols, and waited for his coming. In writing to these in after years, Paul said, "Ye turned to the Deity from the idols to serve a living and true Deity; and to wait for his Son from the heavens, whom He raised from among the dead, even Jesus, who delivers us from the coming wrath." This became to them a matter of hope. They waited for it, and were taught to do so with patience and endurance. It is, therefore, termed "the patient waiting of the hope of our Lord Jesus Anointed," in 1 Thess. 1:3. In both these epistles the apocalypse of Jesus occupies a prominent place. It is expressly mentioned at the end of all the chapters of the first with many important accompaniments; and, in 2 Epist. 3:5, he says, "the Lord direct your hearts into the love of the Deity, and into the patient waiting for the Anointed." They had become impatient, supposing that the day of his appearing was at hand. But Paul corrected this error by telling them that it would not come to pass until the consummation of an Apostasy, which would be perfected under the Man of Sin: and that, when this power should be fully matured, then the Lord Jesus would be apocalypsed to destroy it, and be glorified in his saints. All who are "taught of God" understand this, and earnestly desire the event; because they know that there is no salvation till He appears. The promises are to those who love his appearing. Paul teaches this distinctly. "There is laid up," says he, "a coronal wreath of righteousness for all them who love his appearing;" and in another place he says, "to them who look for him he shall appear a second time without sin for salvation" -- Heb. 9:28. Only those who are watching and prepared will share in this salvation. 5. "I Come Quickly" "Behold, I come, tachu, quickly," or soon. This does not refer to the "coming in clouds" of ch. 1:7; but to the coming to execute the threatening of the previous verse. "I, the Spirit-man, will come soon to bring the hour of trial upon the whole habitable." In ch. 2:5, he threatened to come quickly to the Star-Angel of Ephesus, if they did not resume their original position, and take from them the gifts, by which their darkness would become complete. Nor is it the coming quickly, though it may be typical of it, indicated in Rev. 22:12. This has reference to our future, and not to a past time. I conclude thus, because in this text the time of the coming is marked by the bringing of the reward, and the giving every man according to his works. Then will be the time for the prostration of all the Satanists and spurious Jews at the feet of the Philadelphians. They will then know that these are the beloved whom they have long despised and abused. If it be a quick, or soon, coming at the fall of Babylon the Great, it was certainly a quick coming at "the hour of trial" in a.d. 248. The Philadelphians were exhorted to "hold fast what they had." They had the word of the kingdom and name. They were to hold fast to this, or, if they did not, they would lose their crown. Every reader can understand this; and he may easily know if he have any claim upon this crown, by examining himself and seeing if he be in the faith. If he be ignorant of the doctrine of the kingdom and name, he has nothing worth holding on to; and, though he may know all mysteries, if he have not been immersed into Christ, he is not in the faith. This is the condition of "the religious world" at this day. In the time of the Philadelphian Star Angel the christian community, the religious world of that day, had the word of the patient waiting for the Spirit-Man; and was then in a position to hold fast or let go. Many now have a traditional idea that Christ will come again; but of "the word," which teaches how to wait, and how to be accepted of him as holy, un-blameable, and without rebuke at his appearing, the clergy and their peoples have not the least conception. They can not therefore "hold fast what the Angel in Philadelphia had;" and consequently have no right or title to the coronal. 6. Coronal Wreath. In the English Version, stephanos is rendered "crown." There are two words in the Apocalypse so rendered, -- diadema and stephanos. The latter is used in Mat. 27:29, "they platted a crown of thorns;" and in 1 Cor. 9:25, "to obtain a corruptible crown;" and in 1 Pet. 5:4, "a crown of glory that fadeth not away." In the Apocalypse, when un-associated with other words, it signifies a garland, chaplet, or wreath, encircling the head from the crown to the back thereof at its junction with the neck. Such was the stephanos, or coronal wreath, with which the victorious athletoe, or combatants, in the public games of antiquity were decorated. These combatants were runners, wrestlers, and pugilists, who agonized, or contended earnestly, for the glory, honor, and recompense of victory. Paul alludes to them in saying, "Know ye not that they who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? So run that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible coronal wreath; but we an incorruptible." Elliott, in his Horoe Apocalypticoe, has the following remarks upon the stephanos. "By the imperator or emperor, up to the time of Augustus, was meant, as is well known, simply the victorious Roman general, saluted with that title by his soldiers on the field of battle, and with the triumph and its coveted honors and insignia following. Now, though with Augustus and his successors the most absolute monarchical power attached to their emperorship, yet it was their policy to veil it under the old military or imperial badges. Hence their public insignia (of which the mock robing and crowning of Jesus by the Roman soldiery is an affecting remembrancer) were still the laurel crown and purple robe. The assumption of the diadem, or broad white fillet set with pearls, viewed as it was by the Romans as a badge of oriental despotism, and of the servitude of subject vassals, these emperors carefully shunned. The remembrance long remained with them of the feelings exhibited by the Roman people on its being offered by Antony to their great ancestor, Julius Caesar; insomuch that it was considered an act of madness on the part of Caligula (and the act was quite isolated) to attempt to assume it. Abundant memorials exist to show that all through the time to which the first Seal refers, the crown remained the badge of Roman emperors, the diadem of barbarous kings. In fact, not till about the time of Diocletian, near 200 years after John's banishment to Patmos, was the diadem adopted by Roman emperors: the innovation being accompanied both with the other insignia, and even the adoration too, attendant on eastern royalty. The change constituted an epoch in Roman history; and one markedly noticed, as will afterwards appear, in the Apocalypse. Thus, then, about Diocletian's time, and thenceforward, but not till then, the diadem was the imperial badge; -- for a century or more conjointly with the laurel, then I believe exclusively. So that whereas, with reference to such a period as the close of the fourth century, it would have been an impropriety, and with reference to the sixth an anachronism, to represent the stephanos, or laurel crown, as a badge of empire on an imperial or royal head, -- just as much, and indeed more, it would have been an anachronism to represent a Roman emperor of the two and a half first centuries with a diadem" -- Vol. 1. p. 126. In the Apocalypse the diadem is peculiar to the Seven-Headed Draggon and the Ten Horns of the Beast. It is true, that in Rev. 19:12, "many diadems" are represented on the head of the Spirit-Man; but then these are the diadems which he wrests from the Ten Horns when he conquers them, and takes possession of their kingdoms. The stephanos was a very appropriate device for association with life, honor, glory, rejoicing, and righteousness. It was constructed of the laurel, which is evergreen, and therefore emblematic of the Aion-Life which is perennial; still when plucked from the living tree it is corruptible, and fades away. So with the believer; as long as he holds fast to what he has, retains his hold upon Christ, by His dwelling in his heart by faith in the word of the patient waiting for him, and not denying his name; Christ, who is the Wisdom of the Deity, is to him a living and unfading tree; and he, as a leaf thereof, does not wither: but if, having received "the word, he does not hold it fast, or denies the name of the Spirit-Man, he is as a leaf plucked from its parent stem; he fades, and another has snatched from him his stephanos, which nought enriches the persecutor, and makes him that loses it poor indeed. Hence, the high importance of the exhortation to the Philadelphian saints, "Hold fast what thou hast that no one may have seized upon thy coronal wreath." In "the Hour of Trial" there were many examples of this seizure of the stephanos. The following will afford an illustration of others. There were at Antioch a presbyter and an unofficial member of the ecclesia, the former named Sapricius, the latter Nicephorus, who, through some misunderstanding, after a remarkable intimacy, became so completely estranged, that they would not even salute each other in the street. Nicephorus after a time relented, begged forgiveness of his fault, and took repeated measures to procure reconciliation, but in vain. He even went to the house of Sapricius, and throwing himself at his feet, entreated his forgiveness for the Lord's sake; but the presbyter continued obstinate. In this situation of things "the Hour of Trial" came suddenly upon them. The Spirit-Man had come, as he had forewarned them. Sapricius was carried before the governor, and ordered to sacrifice to the gods in obedience to the edict of the emperors. "We christians," replied Sapricius, "acknowledge for our king Jesus Christ, who is the true God, and the Creator of heaven and earth. Perish idols, which can do neither good nor harm?" The Prefect tormented him a long time, and then commanded that he should be beheaded. Nicephorus hearing this, ran up to him as he was led to execution, and renewed in vain the same supplications. The executioners derided his humility as perfect folly. But he persevered, and attended Sapricius to the place of execution. There he said further, "It is written, Ask and it shall be given you." But not even this appeal to the word, so suitable to Sapricius' own circumstances, could affect his obstinate and unforgiving temper. Sapricius, however, suddenly recanted, and promised to sacrifice to the idols. Nicephorus amazed, exhorted him to the contrary; but in vain. He then said to the executioners, "I believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ whom he hath renounced." The officers returned to give an account to the governor, who ordered Nicephorus to be beheaded; who may be said to have seized the coronal Sapricius had thrown away. When the combatants in the public games obtained the coronal evergreen, it was because they had contended according to the regulations, which justified the awarding of the crown to the victor. It was therefore a coronal of justification. He was in a state of right; and therefore entitled to all the honor, glory, and rejoicing due to successful combatants. The laurel wreath was therefore a crown of righteousness, a crown of glory and honor, and a crown of rejoicing, in a gymnastic sense. Upon the principle of analogy, then, the Spirit has chosen the stephanos in preference to the diadem, as the symbol of the glory, honor, rejoicing, and incorruptible life, he has promised to those who are found in that state of right -- of moral right -- he has organized, and defined in "the word." They who come up to the regulations he has ordained in this, are righteous; and being thereby justified, when the day of coronation arrives, "glory, honor, incorruptibility, and life" will be to the resurrected righteous," "a crown or stephanos, that fadeth not away. The diadem is inherited; the stephanos is the prize of "him that overcomes." But, though the stephanos of the public games was of laurel, still they would fade. Hence, the stephanos in its literality is not introduced into the apocalypse. It stands there analogically, as something that encircles and is bestowed upon victors, but with the material changed. Thus, in Rev. 4:4, John sees the twenty-four presbyters with golden stephans upon their heads, which they cast before the throne, indicating thereby that "the glory, honor, and power" represented by the stephanos, are derived from the Lord who sits thereon. They are of gold, because they are acquired by faith -- by that faith which is symbolized by fine gold, as the most precious of metals. The most precious metal, in other words, is the emblem of the most precious attribute of a christian. Hence, a tried faith is likened by Peter to gold tried with fire. This is the analogy which he expresses, saying to certain under persecution, "Ye are in heaviness through manifold trials; that the putting to the proof of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory in an apocalypse of Jesus Anointed" -- 1 Ep. 1:7. Faith like fine gold is a "precious faith," embracing "exceeding great and precious promises;" by faith in which when duly appreciated, "the Divine Nature" is created and cherished in the hearts of men. To such, the apostle addresses himself, saying, "To them who have obtained like precious faith with us in the righteousness of the Deity, even of our Saviour Jesus Anointed; grace to you and peace be multiplied in the exact knowledge of the Deity, even of Jesus our Lord." How little faith must there be in the world if the faith of the apostles is to be regarded as the standard! The faith extant is not comparable to theirs in kind nor in degree; consequently, but few of this generation will enter into the symbol of the twenty-four wearing "golden stephans upon their heads." "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the stephanos of life." Such was the promise to the Smyrneans -- a promise equivalent to that to the Philadelphians. To be faithful unto death is to hold fast the word of the patient waiting for Christ, and not to deny his name; and to receive the stephan of life is to rise from the dead and to live forever. 7. "A Pillar in the Temple." After exhorting the faithful to hold fast the gospel of the kingdom and name, the Spirit-Man proceeds to assure them of reward. In addressing the victor who shall have overcome in the public games which he patronizes and conducts, the Spirit saith, "I will make the victor A Pillar in the Temple of my Deity." In this saying, "Phillar" evidently is representative of a saved person. Therefore to make such a pillar in a temple of Deity is to make him an integral part thereof; and for a saint to be part of the temple, indicates that the temple itself is composed of persons. Now a temple is a dwelling; not a common dwelling, but a habitation of Deity. A temple composed of the saints is a habitation of Deity, which the Lord pitches and not man. Upon this principle the pillars and the house, temple, dwelling, or habitation, become identical and inseparable. But obvious as this may be to the enlightened, we propose to make it equally so to others; and to unfold the significancy and beauty of the phrase in the remarks which follow. The idea of a pillar being a house of Deity is traceable to the conception of Jacob, who, doubtless, initiated it under the inspiration of Deity. The history of its origination is told in Gen. 28, as follows. Isaac called Jacob into his presence, and told him to go to Padanaram, and select for himself a wife there, from Laban's daughters. On his departure he blessed him saying, "Ail-Shaddai bless thee, and give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy Seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land, wherein thou art a stranger, which Elohim gave to Abraham." On his way thither, Jacob came to a certain place where he passed the night, making his pillow of the stones. While asleep, the vision of the Ladder appeared to him. This ladder seemed to connect the earth and heaven; and by it ascended and descended upon him angels, or messengers of Elohim. Above the ladder stood Yahweh, known to Jacob by the name Ail-Shaddai, who said to him, "I am Yahweh Elohim of Abraham thy father, and Elohim of Isaac; the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy Seed. And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west and to the east, and to the north and the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in thee, and in thy Seed. And behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places where thou goest, and I will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee until I have done what I have spoken to thee of." The gospel of the kingdom having been thus announced to Jacob, as it had been before to Abraham, (Gal. 3:8, ) he awoke, and under the vivid impression of what he had seen and heard, took the Stone upon which his head rested, and set it up for a pillar -- a monumental pillar -- and poured oil upon the top of it. This was the nearest approach he could make to the matter of the vision. The stone resting upon the earth and pointing upwards might represent the ladder; and the oil poured on the top of it, the Spirit, or Deity, who stood above it. Thus, the Stone was converted into a pillar or monument, which, to the mind of Jacob, would suggest the promise he had heard in his dream. His recollection of this promise would be the monumental inscription of this pillar of Stone. But when he awoke in a typical resurrection, he exclaimed, "Verily, Yahweh is in this place, and I knew not;" and he was afraid, and said, "How awful is this place! This is nothing else but a house of Elohim, and this a gate of the heavens!" Hence, that this idea might be perpetuated, he said, "Yahweh shall be to me for Elohim, and this Stone which I have set for a pillar shall be a House of Elohim." Jacob's stone pillar, then, was typical of a House of Elohim to be set up after he awakes from his sleep of centuries. When he awakes, he will find himself in an awful time and place, the gate of heaven opened, and the house of Elohim in manifestation, but he, nevertheless, without dismay. What he saw in vision he will then see in fact -- "Heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man" -- John 1:51. But there is a sense in which Jacob's pillar of the stone exists as a house of Elohim even now, and in intimate connection with the house he will see when he awakes from his present know-nothing state. Paul presents to us this sense in the saying, that "a House of Deity is an ecclesia of living Deity, a Pillar and material habitation, (hedraioma from hedra, a habitation of gods, ) of the truth" -- 1 Tim. 3:15. This pillar and habitation is "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Anointed being chief-corner" -- Eph. 2:20. As a monumental pillar, the inscription upon it is "the exceeding great and precious promises" believed by each saint, or "living stone," of which the pillar is composed -- "promises" concerning the kingdom and name made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as narrated by Moses. This pillar was anointed on the top of it on the Day of Pentecost, when the spirit was poured upon the apostles. That anointing was perpetuated in "the testimony for Jesus" which has reached even to us, and with which every true believer is anointed. An ecclesia, however, is not only a pillar inscribed with the truth, but is a hedraioma of the truth. It is a material thing made up of "gods," as David styles them or of "children of Deity," according to 1 John 3:2; Psal. 82:6. These are anointed with the truth, and therefore they are a god-habitation, or hedraioma of the truth. In regard to this word hedraioma, it may be remarked here, that it occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, nor in any classical author. The word is derived from hedra, which signifies "a seat, habitation, especially of gods, a temple, altar, &c." Hence, the expressiveness of the word, and its peculiar and exclusive application to a habitation of the truth constituted of gods, or children of Deity, who are, as represented in the Apocalypse, "the Altar," "the temple," "the Holy City," or, as Paul expresses it, "an habitation of Deity by spirit -- Eph. 2:22. The ecclesia in the aggregate is the Pillar of the Stone to be placed in Zion, and a hedraioma, or House of Elohim, as Jacob termed the type he set up at Bethel. But while the saints collectively are an Elohal Pillar and House of the truth, this house also contains two classes of pillars, and many individual pillars in each class. This is seen in type and antitype. Typically, the two classes are represented in the Two Brazen Pillars in the Porch of Solomon's temple, the one on the right hand being named Jachin, and that on the left, Boaz. These names were significative of the things represented by the pillars, which were of brass, eighteen cubits, or about thirty-two feet, in the shaft, which was twenty-one feet girth, and surmounted with a chapiter nine feet high. Here were loftiness and strength. The chapiters were ornamented with nets of checker-work, wreaths or stephans, of chain-work, pomegranates, and lily work, all of which were representative of things pertaining to the pillars. As a whole, they were styled yahkin, and boaz, or in plain English, He shall establish by strong ones. In Canticles, Solomon, who had much to do with lily work and pomegranates, and fragrant and choice woods, in the building of the temple, makes the Bridegroom term the Bride "the Lily;" and speaking of herself, she says, "I am his, feeding among lilies;" and, "a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valley." And in another part of this Song of Songs, the bridegroom says of the saints forming collectively the Bride, "A garden enclosed is my sister spouse; a spring locked up, a fountain sealed. Thy shoots are plants of Paradise, pomegranates with delicious fruits." Moses styles Palestine "a land of pomegranates," so that they came to be used as a similitude for those who shall inherit the land. They therefore constituted the hem of the typical robe of Aaron, being of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and alternating with golden bells. These plants of Paradise typifying the two classes of saints from Israel and the Gentiles, are concretely the z[ , oz, or "strong ones, by whom He, Yahweh, will establish" the kingdom of David. They are, therefore, Yahkin and Boaz, the brazen pillars of the porch. But while these pillars of fine brass represented "the Feet" of the Eternal Spirit, which in their progress are as "pillars of fire" glowing in a furnace, (Rev. 1:15; 10:1; Ezek. 43:7, ) there are other representative pillars, which typified the same agents in a different position. Within the tabernacle were "four pillars" upon which was suspended the Veil inwrought with Cherubim -- Exod. 26:32. These pillars were of wood overlaid with gold. Brass pertained to the Porch and Court of the Priests; Gold to the Holy and Most Holy compartments of the tabernacle. These four cherubic- veil pillars answer to the Four Living Ones of Rev. 4 and 5. These, who are the redeemed, have entered the temple, "the smoke from the glory and power of the Deity" having altogether passed away -- Rev. 15:8. To be "a pillar in the dwelling of the Deity," is to be a constituent of these four cherubic-veil pillars, and an element of Jachin and Boaz, the diversity of metals having reference not to different classes of saints, but to the same individuals in different states. As brass, they are glowing in the furnace of divine wrath, "executing vengeance upon the nations and punishments upon the peoples; binding their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron:" in short, "executing upon them the judgment written," in the time appointed for them to possess themselves of the kingdom under the whole heaven -- Psal. 149:7; Dan. 7: as brass, they are "standing upon the sea of glass mingled with fire," and treading down the wicked as ashes under the soles of their feet -- Rev. 15:1; Mal. 4:3; but as gold, they stand upon the sea, sounding their harps to the song of the victory they have achieved over the kingdoms and empires of the world. The saints in the execution of judgment in the approaching "hour of judgment," are also typified by the sixty pillars of brass, pertaining to the court of the tabernacle -- Exod. 27:9-17. This dwelling in Cant. 3:7, "is styled "His litter which is for Solomon." It is seen "ascending out of the wilderness as pillars of smoke." The Bride asks "Who is this?" Her attendants reply that it is "His litter which is for Solomon himself. Sixty valiant men surround it, the stoutest heroes of Israel; every one of them grasping a sword, being expert in war; the Commander his sword upon his thigh without fear in nights." This scene is introduced in Rev. 19:14. Here the Commander and his sixty heroes, or brazen pillars, are in battle array, and prepared to smite the nations, and to tread the winepress, without fear or apprehension of defeat. In Exod. 24:4, the Twelve Tribes of Israel are typified by twelve pillars surrounding the altar. Jeremiah was made "a fortified city, and an iron pillar, and brazen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land." This represented an antagonism between him and the state; but as he was likened to iron and brass, he was thereby shown to be unconquerable. It is therefore added, "and they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee, for I am with thee, saith Yahweh, to deliver thee" -- ch. 1:18, 19. James, Peter and John were also pillars in the hedraioma, being with the rest, as the twelve pillars of Moses around the altar, and the future rulers of the pillar-tribes -- Gal. 2:9; Matt. 19:28. From these premises, then, we perceive quite an array of pillars pertaining to the house, or kingdom, of Elohim. They are Wisdom's pillars. They are being "hewn out." The work of hewing is not yet complete; but when the work is finished, and the pillars are all set up, or established, in their proper places, they will then constitute "her Seven Pillars." It will then be said that "Wisdom hath builded her house, and she hath hewn out her seven pillars" -- Prov. 9:1. The wisdom that was with Yahweh "before the earth was;" and called by John "the Word that was Deity." Wisdom's house is the house of the Deity, who is "the builder of all things," commonly styled "the kingdom of God." Those who are to possess this are the "pillars of the earth," which in Ps. 75:4, the Spirit in Asaph says, "I have established." This testimony is worthy of particular attention in connection with the promise to the Philadelphians. "When I take the congregation I, by righteous ones, maisharim, will judge. The earth and all its inhabitants are dissolved; I have fixed its pillars." In this we are pointed to the time when "the Great Congregation" of Israel, consisting of its Twelve Pillars, shall be taken possession of by the Deity, who says, he will judge "by righteous ones;" that is, by Messiah and his Brethren, the Saints, who then constitute the Deity in corporeal manifestation -- "pillars in the Temple of my Deity." The idea of the Deity ruling the habitable in or by others was announced by Paul to the Athenian Areopagus. He called upon the members of this body to abandon the idols and embrace the true Deity "because He had appointed a Day (of a thousand years) in which he will rule the habitable in justice in a man whom he hath ordained, having offered assurance to all, having raised him from among the dead." Deity in Man the future ruler of the nations; and that man the Spirit-Man of Multitude, symbolized in Rev. 1:13. This is a grand idea -- a multitudinous Spirit-Man, every individual member of which will have been either raised from among the dead like Jesus; or transformed, like Enoch and Elijah. This is the "One Body the Ecclesia," which is the pillar-house of Elohim; the Christ. This is the Seed of Abraham, or the Christ, that rules the world for a thousand years-a Christ, or Anointed Body, consisting of Jesus and the Saints, every one of whom is "a pillar;" and collectively, "the temple of Deity" from which "he shall not at all go away out more." But before this post-resurrectional state can be attained, "the earth and all its inhabitants" must be "dissolved." Its constitution, as symbolized by the beasts of Daniel and John, must be abolished. This is the work of Jachin and Boaz in the Porch, which, as we have seen, typify omnipotence in the saints in the execution of judgment. When they shall have become "victors," they will pass from the brazen into the golden state. They will then be fixed, or established, as the golden pillars of the earth under its millennial constitution. Once a pillar in the house of wisdom in the golden state, he will "not at all go away out more." To perceive the force of these words we must remember that "the Temple of Deity" exists in two states -- the present, and the future. Paul, addressing the saints in Corinth, who were as we are, of the present, or flesh and blood, state, says to them, "Ye are a building of Deity -- a temple of Deity, and the spirit of the Deity dwells in you." But they have all "gone away out" of "the tabernacle in which they groaned being burdened" -- 2 Cor. 5:4: "the earthly house of the tabernacle," formerly the temple of Deity in Corinth, is all "dissolved;" and its constituents are all sleeping in the dust of the earth unconscious of every thing. There they lie awaiting the action of the power which shall raise them from the dead; and constitute them "a building, a house not made with hands, an Aion-house in the heavens." Then they shall become pillars in this house where they will continue fixed. Death will affect them no more, and consequently, being then immortal they will "not at all go away out more" -- exo ou me exelthe eti. 8. My New Name. The Deity speaking of "the Victor" says, "I will make him a pillar in the temple of my Deity * * * I will write upon him the Name of my Deity, and the Name of the City of my Deity, the New Jerusalem, which descendeth out of the heaven from my Deity, even my New Name." In this, the temple, name, and city are all affirmed of "My Deity." The reason of this is because of the principle laid down in the words eis theos ho pater este, ex ou ta panta, kai emeis eis auton "there is One Deity the Father out of whom are all things, and we for him." Does, then, the Deity desire a temple, a Name, or a city upon the earth? Doth he desire all these things? Then "out of" himself they must all proceed; for He is "the Father," or fountain and origin of all existences. When, therefore, he speaks of a temple, name, and city elaborated out of his spirit, He styles them emanations "of my Deity;" as if he were to say, the temple, name, and city are emanations from, and manifestations of, my divine power, and glory. I, the Father, desire to dwell among men; but I will not dwell in a temple or house built by men; I will dwell in a habitation every stone and pillar of which shall be Deity in immortal flesh. Such is Paul's teaching in 2 Cor. 6:16, saying, "Ye are a temple of a living Deity, as the Deity hath said, "I will dwell in them and will walk, and will be of them Deity;" and this temple of Deity in all its parts shall be "swallowed up of life" -- 2 Epist. 5:4 -- a temple of everliving stones. But the manifestation of the Deity is not merely for habitation purposes, but for glory and dominion. This is indicated by "the Name," and "the Name of the City," or "New Name." Thus it is written in Psal. 79:9, "Help us, O Elohim of our salvation, in the matter of the Glory of the Name, and deliver us: and cover over our sins for the purpose of thy Name." Moses styles it "the glorious and fearful Name, Yahweh Elohekhah" -- Deut. 28:58; concerning which David says in Psal. 72:19, "Blessed by Yahweh Elohim, the Elohim of Israel * * * and blessed be the Name of his Glory for Olahm; yea, all the earth shall be filled with his glory." The glory of the Deity is intellectual, moral, and physical, all of which is covered by his name, which expresses what he really is. Thus "His name is Jealous;" that is, "He is jealous;" "His name is holy;" that is, "he is holy;" and "His name is Yahweh Tzavaoth;" that is, He who spoke to Jeremiah is He who shall be of armies, which is the meaning of the Name. Thus, "the Name of the Deity" in scripture signifies every thing that He is as revealed therein. When Moses said, "I beseech thee, show me thy glory?" -- it was replied, "I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim Yahweh before thee by Name. When we read the proclamation, we therefore read the name or character, of the Deity -- Exod. 34:6. He knows all things, and there is nothing too hard for him to do. This is what he is abstractly and essentially. As he is, so he has always been from everlasting, and will be without end. But will he be thus abstract forever? This is the question, and one which can only be answered from the scriptures. This answer is in the negative, and finds a very pointed illustration in Jer. 13:11. In the parable of the girdle buried by Euphrates, the Spirit says, "For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith Yahweh; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a Name, and for a praise, and for a glory; but they would not hear." Now the argument contained in this testimony is, that if Israel and Judah had hearkened to Yahweh, they would have been to him "for a Name." But they would not hear; so they became like the girdle when dug up -- a name good for nothing. In consequence of this national worthlesness, Isaiah predicted, that "Adonai Yahweh should slay them, and for his servants proclaim another name; that he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in Elohim of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by Elohim of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes" -- Isai. 65:15. Here we have the idea presented of the whole Hebrew nation being a name of the Deity. But through the iniquity and falsehood of the tribes the idea was not perfected. The development of the idea was placed in abeyance. He had brought them out of Egypt under Moses "to make for himself a Name of Olahm;" he led them as a horse in the wilderness, "to make himself a Name of Honor;" and to no other people was the name proclaimed: but, although they were called gods, and all of them Sons of the Most High, yet they were not "Elohim of truth;" therefore the Spirit in David said, "Surely as Adam ye shall die; and as one of the princes ye shall fall:" but to his faithful and truth-loving servants, he saith, "Arise, O Elohim, judge the earth; for thou shalt inherit among all the nations" -- Ps. 82:6; Isai. 63:12-19. But though Israel and Judah under the law judged themselves unworthy of having the Name of the Deity written upon them, Yahweh did not abandon his purpose. "Behold, saith he, I will bring Jerusalem health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them abundance of peace and truth. And I will cause the captivity of Judah, and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them as at the first;" -- Jer. 33:7. In performing this work he also says, "I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and I will be to them for Elohim, and they shall be to me for a people. * * * And they shall all know me from the least of them to the greatest of them, saith Yahweh; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more" -- ch. 31:33, 34. When this is accomplished, they will be a truthful and righteous nation, and filled with the spirit as the apostles were of old. Thus anointed, they will be intelligent and wise, and the mightiest of the nations of the earth. The Hebrew nation has never attained to so high a position as this yet; nevertheless, it is the destiny that awaits their repentance, and acknowledgment of Jesus Anointed, as their Lord and King. But "another name" was to be proclaimed to Israel and Judah than any they were acquainted with in the days of Isaiah and Jeremiah. These both prophesied concerning it. The former says of the child born and son given, "He shall call his name Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty Power, Father of Futurity, Prince of Peace * * * upon the throne of David:" and the latter says of him, "the Great, the Mighty Power, Yahweh of armies, his Name" -- ch. 32:18: and in chap. 23:5, says furthermore concerning it, "Behold, the days come, saith Yahweh, that I will cause to rise up unto David a righteous branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and he shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this his Name which he shall call him, Yahweh-tzidkainu -- He shall be our righteousness." This is certainly a name of glory, honor, power, dominion, wisdom, and holiness. It is the name for the Olahm emanating from Deity; who shall bear it? Shall it be borne wholly and solely by Jesus; or shall a multitude share it with him? We, who have confessed that he is Lord to the glory of the Divine Father, rejoice that he hath already received it in part, which is an earnest of the whole. The name of the Deity hath been written upon him; for he hath received a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow: the name of the New Jerusalem, which is his new name, has also been inscribed upon him; for he is the glory, the light, the wall, and the temple thereof. The gospel of the kingdom was preached to Israel and the nations, that by faith in it a people might be separated from them for this name. All who accept it are baptized into this name and for it. All such are in this name, and anxiously looking forward to the time when the "New Name of the Deity" will be written upon them by the resurrection-power of the Father. What Jesus now is they will become; for they are joint-heirs with him of all he inherits. He is Deity manifested in flesh; and so when those who are now in the name shall rise from among the dead, and put on incorruption, they also will be the Deity manifested in immortal flesh -- the "New Name" of glory, honor, incorruptibility, life, and power, will be written or engraved into their new nature -- incarnate focalizations of spirit-emanation from the substance of the Eternal Father. "I Yahweh, will be to Israel and Judah for Elohim." The resurrected saints are these Elohim, who arise to judge the earth; and to rule Israel when they become a righteous and truth-loving people. They are the Elohim of Truth -- elohaiamen -- in whom Israelites will bless themselves in the earth; to whom -- that is, to Israel and their Elohim -- the name of Israel, under the law and to this present, comparable to Jeremiah's good-for-nothing girdle, will be a by-word and a curse. 9. The Name of the City Written. To write the Name of the City of the Deity upon one already inscribed with the Name of the Deity, is indicative of all such constituting a Body Politic -- a Divine Municipality. It is called "New Jerusalem" in contradistinction to the Old Jerusalem under the Mosaic constitution, "in bondage with her children." The latter was the mother of those whose name was good for nothing, but the former is the mother of all who believe the promises concerning the glorious things spoken of her approaching future. At present she is barren and desolate, having no children, nevertheless, this same shall break forth and cry, and become he ano Ierousalem, the higher Jerusalem, "the free city," which is the mother city, or metropolis, of the kingdom and dominion of the Millennial Aion. Jerusalem under Solomon the Second will be "higher," or more exalted, than Jerusalem under Solomon the First, because the Municipality -- the Incorporate Deity -- will be her glory. In the time of Solomon her state and municipal corporations were mortal men, and the glory of the Deity was confined to the temple between the cherubim; but in the coming reign, the administration from the King to the least in the kingdom, will be immortal and greater than all that are born of women, and of such excellency in the estimation of Deity as to be compared to "gold and precious stones" -- Gal. 4: Rev. 21. But in the writing before us, it is said to "descend out of the heaven from the Deity." The reason of this is, because He in whom the fulness dwells is there, and the city will not be manifested until he descends. The Holy City consisting of the saints, is at present trodden under foot of the Gentiles, and will so continue to be until the end of the forty and two months of day-years -- 1260 years. Its fortunes are parallel with those of the city under the Turks, and the tribes scattered abroad. The Holy City lies in the dust, with only here and there a stone monumental of its ruin. But when power descends from the heaven with Jesus, he will by that power refashion the ruins, and bring them forth for a Name and City of his Deity -- a name and city composed of the Sons and Daughters of Omnipotence. Thus the city is "out of the Deity," for it can have no existence apart from his wisdom and power. The ashes of its dead would never be refashioned spontaneously. If this were possible, the city might be said to ascend from the dust; but this is not possible, therefore the city is represented apocalyptically, as "descending out of the heaven from the Deity," to indicate the direction from which the formative energy is derived, and to connect the operation with the appearing of Jesus Christ. But, in relation to the New Jerusalem, I shall defer the further consideration thereof until I come to consider John's vision of its descent in Apoc. 21. 10. A Clerical Exposition. I shall conclude this exposition of the epistle to the Angel-Presbytery at Philadelphia, by reproducing what the Church of England Bishop Newton has said upon the subject. It will afford the reader a specimen of high orthodox apocalyptic interpretation, of which the humblest among the saints would be thoroughly ashamed. "Philadelphia, so called," says he, "from Attalus Philadelphus its builder, is distant from Sardis about twenty-seven miles to the southeast. It is called by the Turks Allah Shah, or the beautiful city, on account of its delightful situation, standing on the declivity of the mountain Tmolus, and having a most pleasant prospect on the plains beneath, well furnished with divers villages, and watered by the river Pactolus. It still retains the form of a city with something of trade to invite the people to it, being the road of the Persian caravans. Here is little of antiquity remaining besides the ruins of a church dedicated to St. John, which is now made a dunghill to receive the offal of dead beasts. However, God hath been pleased to preserve some in this place to make confession of the Christian faith, there being above two hundred houses of christians, and four churches, whereof the chief is dedicated to Panagia, or the Holy Virgin, the other to St. George, who is of great fame among the oriental christians, the third to St. Theodore, and the fourth to St. Taxiarchus, as St. Michael the archangel is called by the Greeks. Next to Smyrna, this city hath the greatest number of christians, and Christ hath promised a more particular protection to it. See Rev. 3:8, 9, 10. Than which, as Dr. Spon saith, what could be said more formally to foretell the coming of the Turks, the open enemies of christianity, who seem to be sent on purpose for the punishment of our crimes, and to distinguish the faithful from the false christians, who pretend to be so, and are not?" This is all the bishop has to say in exposition of the letter before us; and his remarks upon all the other letters are vapid and shallow as the specimen here given. He evidently knew more of geography and archaeology, than of the christian faith; and evinces a very low conception of the divine character in supposing a special preservation of the worshippers of the Virgin and the saints "to make a profession," which makes the name of christianity a stench in the nostrils of the followers of Mohammed, who justly regard them as a set of contemptible idolaters. SECTION 3. TO THE ANGEL OF THE ECCLESIA OF THE LAODICEANS. 14. Also to the angel of the ecclesia of Laodiceans write: These things saith the Amen, the Witness faithful and true, the Beginning of the creation of the Deity: 15. I have known thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot. Would that thou weft cold or hot! 16. Thus because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about, to vomit thee out of my mouth. 17. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and have abounded in wealth, and have need of nothing, and hast not known that thou art the wretched, and pitiable, and poor, and blind, and naked one. 18. I counsel thee to buy from me gold which has been refined by fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white garments, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness may not be apparent; and anoint thine eyes with salve, that thou mayest see. 19. Whomsoever I love I discipline and admonish; be zealous, therefore, and change. 20. Behold, I have stood at the door, and I knock: if any one may hear my voice, and open the door, I will enter in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21. The victor, I will give to him to sit with me on my throne, as I also vanquish and sit with my Fattier on his throne. 22. He that hath an ear let him hearken to what the Spirit saith to the ecclesias. 1. Typography of Laodicea. Laodicea, the city of the seventh ecclesia addressed by the Spirit, lay south of Philadelphia, in the way to return to Ephesus, so that it will be found, upon an inspection of the map of Asia Minor, that the seven ecclesias, laid in a kind of circular form, so that the natural progress was from Ephesus to Smyrna, from Smyrna to Pergamos, from Pergamos to Thyatira, from Thyatira to Sardis, from Sardis to Philadelphia, from Philadelphia to Laodicea, and from Laodicea round to Ephesus again, (from which it was distant about forty-two miles south,) which is the method and order the Spirit hath observed in addressing them. That there was a flourishing association of believers at Laodicea in the first century, is evident from Paul's letter to the Colossians. In ch. 4:15, he exhorts them to "salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, even Nymphas and the ecclesia which is in his house." He appears also to have written especially to the Laodiceans, for he tells the Colossians to read the epistle obtainable from them. The ruins of the city shew it to have been very large, situate in a volcanic region upon seven hills, and encompassing a large space of ground. Some notion may be formed of its former greatness and glory from three theatres and a circus which are remaining, one of which is very fine, as it was capable of containing above thirty thousand men, into whose area they descended by fifty steps. Laodicea is now called EskiHissar, or the old castle. In its apostasy, the ecclesia in this city became the metropolitan, or Mother Church, of sixteen bishopricks, yet it is now desolate, and not so much as inhabited by shepherds, but is become a habitation only for wolves, foxes, and jackals, a den of dragons, snakes, and vipers. Thus we have in the ecclesia of the Laodiceans in the fulness of its apostasy, a Mother of Harlots sitting upon seven hills; and because of its spiritual misery, poverty, blindness, and nakedness, reduced, with the city of its habitation, to utter desolation and irrecoverable ruin, and its site become the den of ferocious beasts, and the hiding place of reptile abominations. Laocidea was long an inconsiderable place, but it increased towards the time of Augustus Caesar. The fertility of the soil, and the prosperous circumstances of some of its citizens, raised it to greatness. Hiero, who adorned it with many offerings, bequeathed to the people more than two thousand talents; and though an inland town, it grew to be more potent than the cities on the coast, and became one of the largest towns in Phrygia, as its present ruins prove. Chandler, in his "Travels," p. 25, says, that "Laodicea was often damaged by earthquakes, and restored by its own opulence, or by the munificence of the Roman emperors. These resources failed, and the city, it is probable, became early a scene of ruin. About the year 1097 it was possessed by the Turks, and submitted to Ducas, general of the emperor Alexis. In 1120, the Turks sacked some of the cities of Phrygia by the Meander, but were defeated by the emperor John Comnenus, who took Laodicea, and repaired and built anew the walls. About 1161, it was again unfortified. Many of the inhabitants were then killed with their bishop, or carried with their cattle into captivity by the Turkish sultan. In 1190, the German emperor Frederick Barbarossa, going by Laodicea with his army toward Syria, on a crusade, was received so kindly, that he prayed on his knees for the prosperity of the people -- which prayer, as the future proves, was of no avail in heaven; for about 1196, this region with Caria was dreadfully ravaged by the Turks. The sultan, on the invasion of the Tartars in 1255, gave Laodicea to the Romans, but they were unable to defend it, and it soon returned to the Turks. We saw no traces of houses, churches, or mosques. All was silence and solitude. Several strings of camels passed eastward of the hill; but a fox which we first discovered by the ears peeping over a brow, was the only inhabitant of Laodicea." 2. The Amen. This seventh epistle, like the others, is from the Spirit, who styles himself "The Amen, the Witness faithful and true, and the Beginning of the creation of the Deity." We have already expounded the title indicated by "the Amen" on page 187. Jesus, by the transforming energy of the Father-Deity, became Spirit, and is now "the Lord the Spirit." Speaking some sixty years and upwards after the event of transformation, he said to John in Patmos, "I am the First and the Last, and the Living One; and I have been dead, and behold I am living for the Aions of the Aions, Amen." He was the individual Amen -- the incarnation of faithfulness, and therefore "the Witness faithful and true" -- the Amen-Witness; "for," saith Paul, in 2 Cor. 1:19, "the Son of the Deity, Jesus Anointed, who was preached among you through us, through me, Sylvanus, and Timothy, he was not yea and nay, but in him was yea: for all the promises of Deity in him are the yea, and in him the Amen, to the Deity with glory through us." All the promises of the Deity in Jesus are the Amen. This is the definition of the individual Amen contained in this passage from Paul. Now, if only some promises were fulfilled in Jesus, such as those pertaining to the sufferings of the Anointed One; and some others, such as those relating to the good things promised to Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem, and the glory consequent thereon, are never fulfilled in and through him, then, instead of Jesus being "the Amen," he would be "the yea and the nay;" and if the promises concerning the sufferings and glory are not at all fulfilled in him, then he would be to ou "the Nay." But some have been fulfilled in him, and all the rest of the promises will yet be accomplished in him, and therefore he is to nai, "the yea," and to Amen, "the Amen," or the truth and faithfulness itself. When, therefore, the glorified Jesus says to the Star-Angel Presbytery of the ecclesia of the Laodiceans, and through it to all that generation of ecclesias, and to us of these later times in fellowship with them through belief of the same things they received -- when He says, he is "the Amen," it is equivalent to saying, that all the promises not fulfilled in his first coming, will assuredly be accomplished when he comes again; and that this advent with glory is as certain as the existence of the Deity, which none but a fool would call in question. All the promises fulfilled in and through Jesus are the Amen. All who do not recognize this, do not accept him as "the Amen," and therefore in effect charge the Deity with unfaithfulness; for apart from Jesus Anointed they will never be performed. "I am the truth," said Jesus; that is, all the truth spoken by the Eternal Spirit received incarnate fulfilment in, by, and through him; and all this "to the Deity with glory" -- to the manifestation of the Deity in his Sons with glory, styled by Paul elsewhere, "the manifestation of the Sons of the Deity," which is the full development of the great mystery of godliness, "Deity manifested in flesh." 3. The Witness Faithful and True. As all the promises are to be fulfilled in and through Jesus Anointed, according to the testimony he gave in the day of his weakness, he is endorsed also as "the Witness faithful and true." He was "the Witness" by eminence. When standing at Pilate's bar, he said, in answer to Pilate's question, "Art thou King then?" "Thou sayest, for I am King. I have been born for this; and I came into the world for this, that I might bear witness to the truth. Every one being of the truth, hearkeneth to my voice." He bore this witness before the people, and at the bar of Caiaphas as well. Before these he testified, that he was the Anointed One, the Son of the Deity;" and that his enemies should "hereafter see the Son of Man sitting in right places of the Power, and coming upon the clouds of the heaven" -- Matt. 26:64. But, as he told Nicodemus, "We, (that is, the Father and Himself,) speak what we do know, and testify what we have seen; and ye receive not our witness." His contemporaries in the flesh rejected him as a false witness; for John the immerser speaking of him, says, "What he hath seen and heard that he testifieth, and no man receiveth his testimony." There were but few exceptions to this, yet sufficient of them to be noted, for John also said, "He that hath received his testimony, hath set to his seal that God is true. For he whom the Deity hath sent speaketh the words of the Deity" -- John 3:32. These words were set forth in "the Gospel of the Kingdom of the Deity," which Jesus declared he was sent to preach -- Luke 4:13, 19, 43; and if it might then be said that "no man received his testimony," it might with great propriety be said so now, and for the same reason, because the pious and others seek honor one of another, and "not the honor which cometh from the Deity only." Jesus admitted, that "if he bore witness of himself his witness was not true." This was incontrovertible. The Mosaic law, under which Jesus lived, required two or three witnesses for the establishment of truth, so that if Jesus could have adduced no other evidence than his own, the people of Judah would have been guiltless in rejecting his claims to the Messiahship, and in repudiating the gospel of the kingdom to be manifested through him. No man of himself can demonstrate his own parentage. Jesus claimed to be the Son of the Deity, a claim which could only be established, in view of the natural untruthfulness of humanity, and the frailty of woman, by the Deity himself. This was publicly and notably done before the multitude on Jordan's banks, when the Spirit of the Deity descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove, and the voice came from the excellent glory in the heaven, saying, "This is my Son the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased." Thus the Father attested him; and afterwards, John the immerser, who heard and saw the wonder; and all the apostles who were present, and especially Peter, James, and John, who afterwards, in the presence of Jesus, Moses, and Elijah, heard the same declaration on the mount, with the addition of the words, "Hear ye Him!" Here, then, were John the baptizer, "a burning and a shining light;" "the Father himself;" the scriptures of the prophets; the multitude at his baptism; the apostles; and the sanction of the heavenly host which announced his birth to the shepherds; to say nothing of Joseph, Mary, and their immediate kin, who might be suspected of false testimony from interested motives -- all testifying that he was "a witness faithful and true." In the salutation in ch. 1:5, John introduces this characteristic of Jesus: "Grace," says he, "unto you, and peace * * * from Jesus Anointed, the Faithful Witness." There has been none upon earth more faithful than he; therefore, he is preeminently the faithful one -- faithful to the truth, and to him that sent him; "faithful as a Son over his own house" -- Heb. 3:6; faithful unto death, as an example for all in him to follow. He styles himself "faithful and true" because his sayings are such. He testifies the truth in this apocalypse. The Lord God, or Adonai Yahweh, of the holy prophets -- that is, Jesus Anointed -- sent his messenger, to show unto his servants, through John, the things which must be shortly done: "and he said unto me," saith John, "these sayings are faithful and true" -- ch. 22:6. In ch. 19:11, the word "witness" is dropped, and the Lord the Spirit, who speaks to the Laodiceans, is styled "the Faithful and True, who judges and makes war in righteousness." He does not come, then, as a witness, but to perform all the things which have been promised from of old -- to destroy the Apostasy, and to bless all nations in Abraham and his Seed. 4. The Beginning of the Creation of the Deity. The third designation by which the Spirit characterizes himself, in his address to the ecclesia of the Laodiceans, is, that he is "the Beginning of the creation of the Deity" -- Now, this phrase might be supposed to mean that Jesus, and Jesus Anointed, were the beginning of the creation of which Moses treats in Genesis; or that they were the chief of that creation. But these suppositions cannot be admitted; and for the sufficient reason that Jesus unanointed, or Jesus Anointed, had no existence in the era of the Adamic creation. The anointing Spirit existed then, and was the creating energy; but at the same time an uncreated agent, and therefore not the first of a creation. In the passage before us the Lord the Spirit, or Jesus Anointed, refers to another creation -- to a New Creation. He is the beginning of that new creation of the Deity; even of that referred to in Rev. 21:5, in which Jesus Anointed says, "Behold I make all things new." When all things are made new there will be a new creation upon the earth, adapted in all its elements to the new population prepared in the previous seven thousands of years to inhabit it. Jesus Anointed is the creator of this new creation; and himself also the first element of it that has been created witout human intervention. Enoch, Moses, and Elijah were glorified men before his creation; but they were not a direct creation of the Deity; for their paternity was human. Jesus had no human father; but was created by the Spirit as independently of the will of the flesh as Adam, the Beginning of the Animal Creation of the Deity, was before him. It is revealed that the Eternal Spirit will create from the dust, and establish upon the earth, a population, every individual of which shall be like Jesus is now -- glorious, incorruptible of body, and deathless; the Deity bodily manifested in each of them -- Rev. 21:3, 4; and that such a constitution and order of things will obtain in relation to them, as will be suitable to pure and immortal beings -- to a world of gods, or elohim. This order, or kosmos, is styled "a New Heaven and New Earth" -- a New Government and New People; a phrase which indicates that, although all men then upon the earth are immortal and free from all evils of the present state, yet are not all of equal rank and authority; and that government is designed for the purpose of affording scope for a diversity of honors, that he who has distinguished himself more than his followers in the cause of truth and righteousness in the previous animal existence, may be a more distinguished and brilliant star in the firmament "beyond" the Millennial Aions. This principle of diversity obtained in the kingdom of the Deity when David and Solomon occupied the throne of Yahweh in Jerusalem. Though all were Israelites and a holy people, all were not equal in rank and authority. The principle also obtains in all the kingdoms of the world; all Englishmen are not dukes and princes; nor are all noblemen of equal rank, influence, and wealth, but the diversity in their original patents of nobility is predicated upon what the Devil, who promotes them, considers their merits in his service. No Englishman can become a member of the royal family who is not born such. It is an hereditary distinction, and eminently exclusive. So in respect of the New Government of the Post-millennial Aion, it will, we believe, be restricted to the Saints raised and transformed at the advent of the Amen. Jesus and the Saints anointed will rule the nations as kings and priests during the Millennium; at the end of which the priesthood will be abolished, but not the royalty. This will continue for ever, in an illimitable sense. But the Millennial Earth is to be abolished as well as the priesthood; not the globe, or planet, called Earth, but the world of nations, consisting of mortal men, over which Jesus and his glorified brethren reign during the thousand years. "Though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee, O Israel" -- Jer. 30:11. All non-Israelitish nations are to be abolished. That is, there will be no national diversities in the post-millennial ages. All will be righteous, deathless, and citizens of Israel's Commonwealth, which will continue eternally under a new constitution. There will then be no English, French, Spaniards, Italians, and such like; but all will be Israelites by the adoption or redemption from death, or the mortal state. The Millennial Earth will then be purged of all sinful elements, and the remnant transformed; so that it will be essentially "a New Earth," or population, subordinate to Jesus and the Saints, who will constitute the luminaires of the "New Heaven," as they will have done of the heaven become old, and called by John "the former heaven." The position of these is fixed; they are the sun and fixed stars both of the Aions of the Aions, and Beyond. "They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the Stars for the Olahm and Beyond" -- Dan. 12:3. Here is a marked difference, the generality of the saved being as "the brightness of the firmament;" but those who have distinguished themselves in the service of the truth, stand out from the diffused brightness as brilliant particular stars. But one star differs from another in glory in the celestial arch; so will it be in the New Heavens of the Olahm and Beyond -- . There are places on the right hand and on the left in the glory "for whom it is prepared;" and there is a place for the Sun of Righteousness; and for the Twelve on the tribal thrones of the kingdom; and many situations in the royal house for the saved in general. A place for every one, and for every one a place; but each for the place as appointed. The apostles will certainly shine as a bright constellation, which can be constituted of no other stars than themselves -- a constellation of twelve bright orbs, each one upon a throne of Israel -- the thrones of the house of David. Yet is the least in the kingdom of the heavens greater than the greatest of all the prophets unglorified; so that while there is greatness for all, there will exist the least among the great. Now this new creation, wonderful in its development and consummation began with the formation of a babe in the womb of the Handmaid of Yah; and ends with the cessation of "every curse" -- Rev. 22:3. The power of the Deity overshadowed the daughter of Heli, and in the set time was born Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews. Here was a creation of the Deity; but it was only the "beginning of the creation" hereafter to be effected by the same power. When created and anointed, this new creation was Eternal Power manifest in flesh; and when resurrected and glorified, that flesh was transformed into Spirit, or Deity -- a substantial corporeal entity, called by Paul a "Quickening Spirit," and "the Lord the Spirit." Hence, viewing him thus, and not as a body of death lying in a sepulchre, the apostle says of him, "who is an image of the invisible Deity, first-born of all creation" (pases ktiseos). He then gives the reason why this first-born image of the Deity is preeminent over all; "because," saith he, "were created by him the all things; the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth, the things seen and the things unseen, whether thrones, or lordships, or principalities, or authorities; the all things have been created through him and for him; and he is before all things, and the all things by him hold together; And he is the Head of the Body, the ecclesia, who is the beginning, first-born from among the dead, that among all he might become preeminent; for in him it pleased that all the fullness should dwell" -- Col. 1:15-19. Compare this with Gen. 1:2, where the creation of the material world is attributed to Spirit of Elohim -- 5. "I Know thy Works." After the Spirit's introduction of himself by stating certain of his characteristics having some special adaptation to the Star-Angel Presbytery addressed, he forthwith declares to each of the seven, "I have known thy works" -- oida ta erga sou; and then proceeds to point them out, and to approve or reprobate them, as the case may be. None of them seem to have been in so disgusting a state as this of the Laodiceans. The Ephesian was remarkable for labor, patience, and intolerance of evil doers; though they had some "liars" among them who said they were apostles, but were not. The Smyrnean was tribulated, poor in this world, but rich in faith; but not without blasphemers of the synagogue of the Satan. The Pergamian held fast the name, and had not denied the faith; yet had in it the holders of Balaam's teaching and that of the Nikolaitans. The Thyatiran was noted for love, service, faith, patience, and works more abundant than in their beginning; yet they tolerated teachers of the Jezebel type. The Sardian was dead, and the things pertaining to it ready to die; because their works were not perfect before the Deity. The Philadelphian had a little strength, had kept the word, and had not denied the name. All these had something to work upon by which the evils among them might be corrected; for even Sardis is exhorted to "strengthen the things that remain." But in regard to the Laodicean Star-Angel Presbytery it appears to have been in such a perfectly self-satisfied condition -- in so thoroughly lukewarm a condition -- that there was no possibility apparent of restoring it to health. There is no redeeming excellence cited in its favor. It was lukewarm. In an anti-amen state, unfaithful and untrue; and without zeal for the manifestation of the new creation, and therefore "removed from the hope of the gospel." Being destitute of these qualities of the true believer, they delighted in the things that perish. Like professors of the nineteenth century, they said that they had need of nothing. They were rich in the wealth of the world, and high in favor with the powers that be. Being rich, they were influential in the state; and being lukewarm, they were not troublesome in bearing witness for the truth against the superstitions of the world. Hence, the world ceased to persecute them, because the world loves its own, and they had become the world's, in ceasing to testify against it. But, though they regarded themselves so complacently, the Lord the Spirit, who seeth not as man seeth, contemplated them with great nausea and disgust. He told them that they were ignorant of their true condition; as ignorant of it as our contemporaries are of theirs. "Thou knowest not," says he, "that thou art the wretched, and pitiable, and poor, and blind, and naked one." They were "wretched," being under condemnation; they were "pitiable," being really wretched while they deemed themselves in bliss; they were "poor," and "blind," being weak in faith and alienated from the life of the Deity through the ignorance that was in them; and they were "naked," being in their sins. 6. "I am about to vomit thee out of my Mouth." What was to be done with a generation of such apostates from the faith and hope of the gospel? Were the gifts of the Spirit to be continued with them, by which they had been as in the mouth of the Spirit speaking to the world for the conversion of sinners; and for the building themselves up in the knowledge of the Son of the Deity? Should the light of the Spirit still burn in the lampstand, and be regarded with indifference or as useless, to so rich and prosperous a community of christians, as they esteemed themselves? The sun may shine, but the blind do not see him; so anointing spirit which taught them all things (1 Jno. 2:27) was in their lampstand, but they were so deluded by traditions that they could not discern it. Even as it is now. The Bible which teacheth all things necessary for wisdom and salvation is in all "the churches," and read from the pulpits; but so perverted is the public mind by clerical theology, that when the truth is read, the people cannot discern its import. The Angel of the ecclesia of Laodiceans was emphatically "the wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked one." They were in spirit, as was Balaam, who strove to prophesy against Israel for the wages of unrighteousness which he loved. They had been baptized or immersed, "into the Name of the Holy Spirit," and had received the gifts of the Spirit; but the first generation of the Angel-Presbytery had diminished; and men speaking perverse things to draw disciples after themelves had got in among them as "successors," and by their teaching had created a lukewarmness towards the things of the name and faith of the Anointed Jesus. They had therefore become as the incompatible ingesta of an irritable and nauseated stomach. This was their relation to the Spirit in whom they were for the time. If they had been cold they would have been refreshing; for "as the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger (or angel) to them that send him; for he refresheth the soul of his masters" -- Prov. 25:13. "Would," saith the Spirit, "that thou wert cold!" for them, as it was a harvest time, the Father and the Son would have been refreshed in beholding their faithfulness. But they were not cold, in other words, they were not a faithful angel-presbytery. Neither were they hot. They had no zeal for the truth, therefore they did not speak it forth. "They needed nothing," they said; they were rich, and had made their fortune. They were transformed into a hierarchy of clergymen, and had become more potent in Laodicea than the priests of the idol temples, which were closed for the want of worshippers. They were looked up to by the wealth and fashion of the city as the ambassadors of the Deity, and the inspired mediators between heaven and earth; and were respected and honored by the plaudits and largesses of the rich, in whom, as we have seen, Laodicea did greatly abound. The rich ministered to them abundantly in temporals, so that they had need of nothing;" and in return they ministered to them "smooth things" after the fashion of the ministrations of the intensely pious, respectable, sleek, and downy "ministers of grace," who now abound on every side, even of "The things that mount the rostrum with a skip, And then skip down again; pronounce a text: Cry hem! and reading what they never wrote, Just thirty minutes, huddle up their work, And with a well-bred whisper close the scene." -- Cowper. They said "they had need of nothing." Much is implied in these words when uttered by an eldership contemporary with an apostle. When "the gospel of the kingdom" first visited Laodicea in the first half, or middle, of the first century, its population was divided between the Jews and Pagans. The latter had become like the Papists of France and Italy in our time, worshippers from habit of the objects they despised; while the Jews were more zealous for mere human tradition than the righteousness of the law. Here, then, was a great work to be performed -- the turning of these Jews and pagans from the Satan to the Deity, as manifested in the Anointed Jesus. So long as a minority remained to be converted, there was work to be done, and the party appointed to do it could not say "they had need of nothing," while their work remained unfinished. That work was never accomplished; for when it had progressed to a certain point, the christian body in Laodicea became "lukewarm;" they ceased to be "hot;" their meditation upon the word ceasing, the fire also ceased to burn; and they no longer spoke with their tongue the glorious and wonderful works of the Deity -- Ps. 39:3. They had vanquished the temples and the synagogues in the argument; they had reduced them to silence, and had no longer in Laodicea an open enemy to contend with; the pressure from without was removed, and taking the lead in Laodicean society, as the clergy do now, with traditions to suit all comers, they were infected with the spirit of the world which hearkened to them, because of the compact which had been established by their unfaithfulness. By way of illustration, ask the divines who officiate in the odor of sanctity in the fashionable pulpits of New York City, London, and so forth, well paid, and pampered with all the luxuries of life, honored by a delighted world, arrayed, if not in purple, in the glossiest black, and fine linen, and splendidly lodged in elegantly furnished abodes -- ask such if there is any thing they need? They believe they are the elect; the successors of the apostles, and "the ambassadors of Jesus Christ;" they say they are christians, and ministers of righteousness, and that their rich and prosperous flocks are "the Church of God," the very kingdom of heaven itself -- what, then, can they possibly need? Do they desire a large attendance of the ill-clad poor in their gorgeous and pillared temples? Is it for the great unwashed, the bone and sinew of society, they have caused to be erected their "houses of God," tricked off with carpetry and plush? It is notorious, that "immortal souls" in the rough and sordid exterior of poverty, are not wanted in the fashionable "churches," the clerical synagogue of the Satan. Having, therefore, all they desire, the language of their condition is, "I am rich, and abound in wealth, and have need of nothing." They are perfectly satisfied with what exists, and are unwilling that it should be disturbed. They are surrounded by society in festering rottenness, and in profound ignorance of the prophets and apostles; but they do nothing beyond the pale of their own little respectabilities. True, a society may send hirelings to visit the dens of poverty, but they are needy adventurers, not the well to-do pastors of fashionable and wealthy flocks, who get a hom-missionary birth for a piece of bread. Such is the system originating in and worked out by Sin's Flesh, which was the same in the first century that it is in the nineteenth. Hence, when professors of christianity in these two centuries say, "we are rich, and abound in wealth, and have need of nothing," it is because the same temporal and spiritual condition is characteristic of each. This wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked one of Laodicea, is regarded as being symbolically in the mouth of the Spirit. This must be admitted, or it will be altogether inconceivable how she could be "vomited out" of his mouth. As we have said, the Star-Angel Presbytery had been "immersed into the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" upon the belief of the gospel of the kingdom, which entitled them to be addressed in the same language as their brethren in Thessalonica, whom Paul describes as "in the Deity the Father, and in the Lord Jesus Anointed" -- 1 Ep. 1:1. To be "in the Lord Jesus Anointed" was the same as being "in the Son, and the Holy Spirit," for it required the Son and the Holy Spirit to constitute the Lord Jesus Anointed. The Laodicean Angel was therefore in the Lord Jesus Anointed, or in the Spirit; and there was no way in which they could be expelled, ejected, or vomited forth, but by the mouth of the Spirit. Now, if one man in his indignation say to another, "I vomit, or spue, you out of my mouth," the saying imports, that he henceforth repudiates all association with him with extreme loathing. The Spirit did not say that he had done this, or there would have been no scope for counsel, discipline, and admonition. A community pretending to be christian, but in fact repudiated by the Spirit, has no communion with the Christ, is the subject of no discipline, and receives no admonition, or fatherly instruction. "Whom the Lord loves he chastens," and where there is no chastening, as in the case of "the Names and Denominations" of "christendom," professors are bastards, and not sons -- Heb. 12:5-8. The Spirit said, "I am about -- mello -- to vomit thee out of my mouth, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot." There is, however, no evidence that the gifts of the Spirit were withdrawn, and the light of the presbyterial lampstand extinguished, in the generation contemporary with the publication of the Apocalypse. It is possible that discipline and admonition operating upon some of them may have resulted in a change, and a renewed manifestation of zeal, to which they were exhorted by the Spirit; for if he had no people among them capable of being saved, the exhortation would have been entirely useless; "be zealous, therefore," said he, "and change." 7. The Counsel of the Spirit. As long as an ecclesia is a called-out association, the Lord the Spirit waits to restore it from the lowest conceivable ebb of faith; so that if she of Laodicea had taken the warning of the ejectment prepared for her in the future, she might have recovered, and not been spued out at all. It was to save her from this catastrophe that the Spirit counselled her to buy gold and garments of him, and to anoint her eyes with salve. "Gold refined by fire" is the symbol of a tried faith. This appears from the comparison in 1 Pet. 1:7, where the faithful are said "for a season to be in heaviness through manifold persecutions; that the trial of their faith, being much more precious than of gold which perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise, and honor, and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Anointed." The condition of which they boasted, in which they were rich and abounding in wealth, and needing nothing, could not develop faith of this character. A tried faith comes forth of tribulation, not of worldly prosperity, which is only calculated to pervert, weaken, and corrupt. The Spirit, therefore, counselled them to buy a tried faith, which could only be purchased in those days at the cost of "much tribulation," which "worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope, and hope maketh not ashamed." To become subject to the tribulation, they had only to "contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints," which would put them into antagonism with the world without, and the lusts of the flesh within. They would not then be able to say that they had need of nothing, for they would most likely find themselves stripped of every thing, and reduced to an humble dependence on the goodness and bounty of God. To buy a tried faith, then, would be the fruit of zeal, and of a change of mind, and the cause of their justification, or investment with the "white garments" of righteousness. But to arrive at this most desirable anti-Laodicean state, it was necessary that the eyes of their understandings be anointed with the unction of the Spirit, that they might perceive what, with all their piety and wealth, they were perfectly blind to. The Spirit's eye-salve is the word of the testimony contained in the writings of the prophets and apostles. If they would work this into their eyes, "inoint" them well with it, they would be brought to see how wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked they really were. They would discover that instead of having need of nothing, they were in need of every thing; and "needed that one teach them again the first principles of the oracles of the Deity; and had become such as had need of milk, not of strong meat." Possessed of a tried faith, and invested with righteousness, with the gifts of the Spirit, they would have been rich indeed, and well clothed, and enlightened, and fit to appear before the Anointed Jesus with praise and honor and glory at his apocalypse; for God hath chosen, not the rich and increased in goods, who have need of nothing, with poverty of faith, but "he hath chosen the poor in this world, rich in faith, to be the heirs of that kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him" -- James 2:5. 8. "I have stood at the Door, and I Knock." The door here referred to is evidently the ears collectively of those addressed. This appears from what follows, as, "If any one hear my voice and open the door, I will enter in to him, and will sup wth him, and he with me." "Let Christ dwell in your hearts by faith," says Paul. Now for Christ to enter in to dwell there, and consequently to banquet there, his voice, which is the truth, must first knock at, or sound, upon the ears of a man. If a man do not hearken to the truth, he keeps the door which leads to his heart, or understanding and affections, shut; and a faith-appreciated Christ cannot enter. The Greek sentence, which I have expressed in the translation, is idou, esteka epi ten thuran, kai krouo, "I have stood at the door, and I knock." How long he had been standing there is left to inference; but in now sending this epistle to them through the apostle John, he knocked audibly. Some of them would probably not accept the epistle as genuine, especially as it was so little flattering to their vanity; but would give it the go by, and attribute it to some pretender to inspiration, as many do in our day, paying the Apocalypse little or no respect. Others, however, among them might discern in it the voice of the Spirit, as we do, and give heed to it. In so doing they would set diligently to work as poor, blind, and naked men, to recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, and not rest content "until," by close study of the scriptures, "Christ be formed in them;" and when so formed, they would hold that heart-satisfying communion with him expressed in the words, "I will sup with him, and he with me." The topography of Laodicea, given on page 401, is a standing monument of the impenitence of this seventh Star-Angel. Had it gained the victory over the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, and maintained the gospel and its institutions in their apostolicity and purity, Laodicea would not now be a mere habitation for wolves, foxes, and jackals. The existing desolation was initiated because "they changed the truth of God into a lie;" turned the grace of God into lasciviousness, and denied the only Lord God, even the Lord Jesus Anointed. For this cause, "God sent upon them strong delusion," that they should believe the lie they had invented; and which has been traditionally transmitted to our generation, and constitutes the "Christianity" in which the world delights -- a christianity which is the glory of the Satan; but as nauseating to the true believer, and as provocative of emesis, as the Laodicean Angel, which was at length spued out of the mouth of the Anointed Jesus. It is probable, however, that there was a remnant even in Laodicea; that all the members of the ecclesia did not share in the lukewarmness of the generation coeval with the Apocalypse. Some probably sorrowed over the faithlessness of the Eldership, and the declension of the generality. If they succeeded in maintaining their position as faithful witnesses of the name and faith of Jesus Anointed, till the ejectment of the Angel from the Spirit's mouth, they would themselves become a distinct and separate party, characterized as "keeping the commandments of the Deity, and having the testimony of Jesus Anointed;" while the others who were spued out as an utter abomination, are known on the page of history as "the Catholic Church," the Mother of Romish and Protestant Sectarianism -- Rev. 12:7; 17:5. 9. The Promise to the Victor. To the remnant who should "overcome the Great Red Dragon -- that old Serpent, surnamed the Devil and the Satan -- by the blood of the lamb, and by the world of their testimony, not loving their lives unto the death," (ch. 12:11, 9,) it is promised in this epistle that they shall become the joint occupants of the throne of Jesus Anointed; "I will give to the victor to sit with me in my throne." In the letter to the Thyatirans, the same class had been promised dominion over the broken and conquered nations; and in this they are told they shall reign with Christ; for to share in his throne is to reign with him. Christ attains to dominion by conquest; so must all who share with him in his reign. This is expressed in the words, "as I also vanquish and sit with my Father in his throne." In the English Version, this reads, "even as I also overcame and am set down with my Father in his throne." The Greek of this is, hos kago enikesa kai ekathisa meta tou patros mou en to throno autou. In this sentence the verbs enikesa and ekathisa are both of the aorist tense; that is, they express actions without fixing the time of the actions; for the word aorist signifies without boundaries, indeterminate, indefinte. In the translation I have rendered them by the indefinite present, which is always flowing. "I vanquish" is a simple fact, which, in the present tense, does not affirm that the action is complete. The action continues, it may be for a long or short time, until it merges into the perfect, when it may be said "I have overcome," or "I overcame." If the Spirit had meant that the overcoming process was completed, he would have used the word nenikeka, "I have overcome;" but as he did not, we are to understand that enikesa is prophecy and not history; that is, an action to be accomplished in the future. It cannot be affirmed that Jesus Anointed has overcome the enemies to this throne and kingdom, and that affirmation be in harmony with the word. Jesus claimed the throne of David, or sovereignty over Israel, and the world; and argued his rights before the people and other rulers. But he did not overcome; on the contrary, they overcame him in putting him to death. True, he was raised by the power of the Deity; but when raised, he did not obtain what he claimed. He was even then like a man in the midst of a crowd of enemies too strong for him. Some friends perceiving it, rush in, and rescue him from their grasp; so the Father interposed and extricated him from their snares, and carried him off to heaven, where he is secure against their attack, until the time arrives to renew the conflict; and for the Lamb to overcome in the war of that great day of the Almighty, spoken of in Rev. 16:14; 17:14; 19:11-21 -- an overcoming, by which the book is opened and the seals loosed, and its contents read and looked upon -- ch. 5:1-5. But Paul settles the question whether Jesus has overcome or not, very distinctly. He tells us plainly and positively that he has not. In laying this conclusion before the reader, he quotes the eighth psalm, to show that the Son of Man was to be made a little lower than the angels: that he was to suffer death: that he was to be crowned with glory and honor; and that things were to be put in subjection under him. He then argues that the phrase "all things" is so comprehensive as to leave no exception. Having declared this, he directs attention to the facts in the case; from which, it is evident, that the subjection of the all things does not obtain. He wrote about thirty years after Jesus said, "all authority edothe (1 aor. ind. pass.) is given to me in heaven and upon earth -- Matt. 28:18; and yet he said, "but now we see not yet all things put under him." What do we see then? "We see Jesus," says Paul, "who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor." That is all we see accomplished. Although "all things are di on, on account of him," yet all the things are to be di ou through him -- through his instrumentality. All the thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers of the existing order of things are developed on account of him. This is the reason of their existence. He is to possess them all; as it is written, "the kingdoms of this world become our Lord's and his Anointed's; and he shall reign for the Aion of the Aions" -- Rev. 11:15. But, it is very obvious, that they are not in his possession now, any more than they were in Paul's day. Even after a lapse of eighteen hundred years we can say with him, "but now we do not yet see all things put under him;" nor shall we see them so subject until they are subjected "through him," as represented in Rev. 19:11-21. When this conquest is perfected he will be able to say, nenikeka I have conquered; but till then, it can only be said prophetically enikesa, I conquer, at some future time. But it is affirmed by some, that Jesus is now sitting upon that throne of his Father of which he is the heir; and that therefore, he hath overcome. To this I object, that the throne of the Father of which Jesus is the heir does not yet exist; and therefore, of course, he cannot be sitting upon it; and has, consequently, not yet conquered, or overcome his enemies. When Jesus ascended to heaven, "he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in high places" -- Heb. 1:3, which, in Heb. 10:12, is styled "the right hand of the Deity;" and in Heb. 8:1, the phrase is extended to, "he sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens." Treating of this subject in Eph. 1:20, Pauls says, that the Deity raised up the Christ from among the dead, and "set him at his right hand in the heavenlies." Thus he hath highly exalted him indeed, having placed him there above all terrestrial governments, or, in the words of the apostle, "far above every principality, and authority, and power, and lordship, and every name that is named, not only in this Aion, (or Course of things, ) but in the future. And puts all things (panta hupetaxen -- 1 Aorist, ) under his feet." And again in Col. 3:1, "Seek the things above, where the Anointed is, sitting at the right hand of the Deity" -- the life, the honor, the power, the glory, the salvation, the grace, to be brought you at the apocalypse of Jesus Anointed -- 1 Pet. 1:13; all of which is harmony with Ps. 110:1, "Sit thou at my right hand," said Yahweh to David's Lord, "until I shall make thy foes a stool for thy feet," or until I conquer them for thee; and then thou shalt sit upon my throne. For it is so written in the next verse, in these words, "The sceptre of thy strength shall Yahweh send out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies;" and in the second psalm, "I have anointed my King upon Zion, the mountain of my holiness." We have said that the throne of the Father that Jesus is heir to does not yet exist. He is King elect, but without throne or kingdom. This may be thought strange, but it is not more strange than true. Jesus is not heir of the throne at the right hand of which he is now sitting. That is not the apocalyptic throne, but the throne of the boundless universe, "in the light which no man can approach unto." The Father intends to have a throne on earth, as well as that now in the light. He has had a throne on earth formerly, which continued for several ages; but he caused it to be overturned superlatively more than twenty-four hundred years ago, and it has ceased to be ever since. While it was standing, David and Solomon, and their posterity, sat upon it, governing the twelve tribes of Israel for Jehovah. "Of all my sons," says David, "Jehovah hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the Kingdom of Jehovah over Israel" -- 1 Chron. 28:5. So when David was about to die, Solomon was anointed, and "sat on the throne of Jehovah as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him" -- ch. 29:23. But in the days of Zedekiah, the last of David's posterity that ever occupied the throne of Yahweh or Jehovah, it was overturned by Nebuchadnezzar. This catastrophy was predicted before it came to pass, in Ezek. 21:25-27. In this passage, the prophet addressing Zedekiah, then reigning in Jerusalem, says, "Thou profane, wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come for the punishment of iniquity at the end; thus saith Adonai Yahweh, Remove the diadem, and take off the crown, this shall not be that; exalt the low, and abase the high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it; and this shall not be until he come whose right it is, and I will give it him." Thus the reigning king was to be uncrowned and deposed, and the throne and dynasty of David set aside, until the Messiah having been manifested, should at some subsequent period be apocalypsed for the purpose of receiving what of right belongs to him -- the throne and kingdom of Jehovah, formerly occupied by his ancestors, David and Solomon. Hence there must of necessity be a restoration of the throne and kingdom of Yahweh. Nothing can be more evident than this. Jeremiah, who was contemporary with the subversion of the kingdom and destruction of the city and temple by the Chaldeans, looked forward to a time when Israel would think nothing of the Ark of the Covenant of Yahweh, and would not visit it. That time has not yet come, for, though they cannot visit it, because it does not exist, still "it comes to mind," and "they remember it." Now, speaking of this future when they shall not regard it, he says, "At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Yahweh; and all nations shall be gathered to it, (as the seat of government,) to the Name of Yahweh to Jerusalem; neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north, to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers" -- ch. 3:16-18. This, then, is the Father's throne, of which Jesus and the Saints are the joint-heirs. In the promise to those who shall buy gold and white raiment of him, and become victors over the blandishments and seductions of the Laodicean Apostasy, he assures them, as he did the faithful in Thyatira, that what he received of the Father they should partake in -- "even as I have received ( the promise thereof) from my Father." But before this promise can be verified in deed, Jesus and his brethren must vanquish their enemies. Jerusalem and the Holy Land must be wrested out of the power of the Gentiles, and Israel must be restored. When this is accomplished, or rather, in the accomplishment thereof, "a door is opened in the heaven, and a throne is set up therein" -- Rev. 4:1, 2; and Jesus will then sit down with his Father on his throne, and not till then. SECTION 4. THE SEVEN EPISTLES TYPICAL OF THE COMPLETE AND MANIFOLD DEVELOPMENT OF THE APOSTASY. Thus, having brought to a conclusion the particulars of the primary vision of the Apocalypse, and of the epistles, therein dictated by the Lord Jesus the Spirit to the seven ecclesias of the Proconsular Asia, which we have found, as Mr. Elliot remarks in his apology for not undertaking the exposition of them, "of matter sufficient in itself to constitute a volume" -- I shall proceed to consider briefly, the import of the seven moral sketches of these seven ecclesias. The question has been extensively mooted by those who have attempted to expound the Apocalypse, whether these moral sketches had a prophetic application, besides and beyond their primary and literal application to that particular circle of Asiatic Ecclesias then existing; and signified further seven several phases that would be presented by the general assembly of professing christians to the all-seeing eye of the Spirit in its progress through coming ages, down to the consummation? Such is the view taken by not a few -- by Vitringa in the last century; and among others, by Fidus in the Morning Watch, and a Mr. Girdlestone, in the present. "To myself," says Mr. Elliott, "the view seems quite untenable," for he cannot see any indication of such a prospective meaning in the descriptions. Which then of these two theories is correct? -- the one affirming that the seven epistles cover the whole of the times of the Gentiles; and the other, that their moral sketches refer exclusively to the particular ecclesias whose names they bear? My conviction is that they do not exclusively refer to either; but that they are descriptive of 1. The things existing in the seven particular ecclesias at the time of the revelation to John; 2. The things existing in the christian societies generally throughout the Roman Habitable, at the same time. 3. The state of the pre-Constantinian christendom in the periods related to those of the Seven Seals. 1. "Write," said the Spirit to John, "the things which thou hast seen, the things which are, and the things which shall be after these." When these words were uttered, he had seen the vision of the Son of Man in the Holy Place, or in the midst of the seven golden lightstands, with the Seven Stars in his right hand. This was related to things then existing in connection with the One Body; yet nevertheless, also referring to what shall be in the crisis of Christ's apocalypse in glory. Thus, John had seen in vision before writing the epistles, "his eyes as a flame of fire" -- ch. 1:14; and among the things pertaining to the end, he sees the Son of Man surrounded by a multitude with "eyes as a flame of fire" -- 19:12; in the first chapter he had seen him with a sharp sword proceeding out of his mouth; and in the nineteenth, he sees him with the same, and making use of it. There are other correspondences which we have elsewhere pointed out. Now this primary vision is separated into portions, and with these the seven epistles are introduced; thereby giving the reader a hint that while they treat of the things existing, they relate also to the things that shall be after them. The perusal of the several letters will show that they not only describe their moral state at the time of writing, but refer to a state of things to which they were tending. Thus, the Ephesian ecclesia was not in its original state; but in a fallen state, having left her first love. Yet in this then present state she was far from being Laodicean. She still labored, and was patient, and could not bear them that were evil; and had tried impostors and proved them to be liars; and had not fainted; and hated the deeds of the Nikolaitans. Yet the Spirit foresaw that they were tending to a lower state of degradation in which he would have to come and remove the lightstand out of its place; which would be to take from them the spiritual gifts; or, as he said to the Laodicean Star, "vomit thee out of my mouth." This would be for the Ephesian to become identical with the Laodicean ecclesia; which we shall not err in affirming was the case at the era of Constantine. 2. While the seven epistles are descriptive of the state of christianity in each of the seven ecclesias; these seven were representative of the state of christianity throughout the Roman Habitable. In the days of John's exile, the ecclesias throughout this dominion constituted the "christendom" of the age. It was not sovereign in the state, as the modern "christendom" is; but oppressed, contending with the pagan authorities; and struggling for existence in the world. Still, though the apostolic christendom was so diverse from the modern christendom, the apostolic element being ascendant, all the seeds were sown in it, and had sprouted above the soil, which are now matured in the Italian Mother, and the Harlots and Abominations of Protestantism which she has borne. Each epistle sets forth elements of the pre-Constantinian christendom contemporary with John's exile. As Paul testified thirty years before, "the Mystery of Iniquity" was "already" at work, and showed itself in the "false apostles" at Ephesus; the spurious Jews of the Synagogue of the Satan, at Smyrna; the Balaamites and Nikolaitans at Pergamos; the children of Jezebel and the Satan, at Thyatira; the twice dead, at Sardis; the but little strength, at Philadelphia; and the wretched and pitiable, and poor, and blind, and naked, at Laodicea. These were tares, which in two hundred and eighty years from the day of Pentecost, A.V.E. 33, choked the good seed, so that a separation had to ensue. But while the Mystery of Iniquity was thus developing "after the working of the Satan" with all power, and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they "received not the love of the truth that they might be saved" -- there existed a class, who not only knew the truth, but loved it. This was "the salt" of the first three centuries, which gave savor to the pre-Constantinian christendom. It was the redeeming and antagonizing element of the period; and was found concurrent with the tares already mentioned, in the Ephesian haters of the deeds of the Nikolaitans; in the Smyrnean rich in faith; in the Pergamian Antipas; and in the Thyatiran remnant; in the Sardian few; and in the Philadelphian faithful. Among the Laodiceans no salt is characterized. A few grains may have been found; but not sufficient to preserve it from that corruption which finally caused its ejectment. The Apostolic Christendom, then, to which John wrote, was divisible into these two sections, which were more or less commingled in the ecclesias generally -- real and nominal christians. The real christians were "Israelites indeed, in whom was no guile;" "Jews inwardly;" and "Abraham's Seed, because they were Christ's;" but the nominal christians of the ecclesias generally, "blasphemers," "liars," false Jews, members of the synagogue of the Satan, and so forth. It would from the very nature of things be utterly impossible for these two classes to remain together forever. If the real christians had the rule, the nominals would become impatient of their restraint and withdraw, or band together to subvert or corrupt the rule they disliked; and if they got the upper hand, the real christians would soon be persecuted and expelled in disgrace; a consummation which obtained in the era of Constantine. Now according to the epistles, these nominal christians of all shades and colors of error and absurdity, were viewed by the Spirit as in a state of embryo organization. That is, the christendom of that day, even of a.d. 98, was pregnant with the Mother of Harlots, the Satan and their corrupt progeny. The Mother of Harlots, now enthroned in Rome, in the days of John, was seated in Thyatira as Jezebel. The Thyatiran Jezebel was a harlot as well as the mother of them; for the Spirit says, "I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not." She committed fornication with the Satan of Pergamos; as the modern Jezebel is said to have done with the kings of the earth, who are regal elements of "the Devil and the Satan" -- Rev. 18:3; 20:2. Jezebel was the name given to a class of teachers and seducers, who claimed to be God's Lot, or inheritance, in an especial sense. Hence our term "clergy," from kleros, lot or inheritance. The Romish idea to this day is that "the church" is composed of the clergy; and that the people or laity, are to "hear the church," that is, the clergy. Jezebel, then, because of its being the name of the Queen-Mother Patron of Idolatry in Israel, is apocalyptically bestowed upon the clergy. Jezebel was begotten in the christian Body by "the Satan" composed of the Pergamian teachers, who held the doctrine of Balaam, and the Nikolaitans, whose tenets and speculations are called "the depths of the Satan as they speak." The had a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge; so that the Spirit repudiated their labors, and designated their establishment "the Synagogue of the Satan." 3. Constituted as human nature is, it was impossible that these elements of the iniquity could remain stationary. They were bound to progress. "The Devil," who cast some of the Smyrneans into prison, was an outward pressure that restrained the too rapid development of the Apostasy. This Devil, or Pagan Roman Power, hindered the heading up of the apostasy in the Lawless One "until the time came for him to be "taken out of the way." The development was therefore progressive. It required two hundred and fourteen years from the communication of the apocalypse to mature the Ephesian Declension into the Laodicean Lukewarmness; at which it finally and permanently arrived through the intermediate Smyrnean, Pergamian, Thyatiran, Sardian, and Philadelphian, periods. The Apocalypse may be compared to a telescope, which, when shut up, is all contained in an outer case. The outer case is the primary vision of the Son of Man, &c., the Seven Epistles, the vision of the throne and Cherubim, to the end of the fifth chapter. These all relate to the Saints and their internal affairs; and that with especial reference to the consummation in the promised kingdom. To them the Spirit saith, "I will give to those of you who are faithful, and keep my word, and do not deny my name -- I will give to you to eat of the arboretum of the life which is in the midst of the Paradise of the Deity; I will give you the wreath of the Life; I will give you to eat of the hidden manna, and a white pebble inscribed with a new name, known only to him who receives it; I will give you power over the nations, and ye shall rule them with a rod of iron; I will give you the Morning Star; ye shall walk with me in white; I will not blot out your name from the Book of the Life; but will confess it before my Father, and before his angels; I will make you pillars in the temple of my Deity, and ye shall go no more out; I will write upon you the name of my Deity, and the name of the city of my Deity, the New Jerusalem, which descendeth out of the heaven from my Deity, and my new name; and I will give to you to sit with me in my throne, even as I conquer and sit with my Father in his throne." Having brought the promises to this climax -- the possession of dominion over all nations with glory, honor, incorruptibility, and life in the Aions of the Aions -- the Spirit next brings up the throne in vision, and shows the believer the victorious Saints in their relation to the throne under the symbols of the twenty-four elders and the four living ones, ready for action, or the execution of judgment, as the result of which they shall "possess the kingdom and dominion under the whole heaven," which Daniel says "is the end of the matter" -- ch. 7:27, 28. In view of this result they sing "a new song," which terminates with the assured conviction that they "shall reign on the earth." Nor do they deceive themselves in this; for the "lightnings, and thunderings, and voices" of the war of the great day of the Almighty Deity, which "proceed out of the throne," (ch. 4:5, ) being expended, their dominion is universally acknowledged; "any every creature which is in the heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for the Aions of the Aions," or thousand years. Here, then, is a continuous discourse in relation to the Heirs of the Kingdom, or the Saints, the which is diffused over the seven epistles and two succeeding chapters,and brings us in its consummation to "the blessing of all nations in Abraham and his Seed." But why were the promises diffused over seven epistles, and not all summed up in one? Because the period from John to the opening of the heaven at the hour of judgment, when the Saints rise and meet the Lord, was a long interval subdivided into periods, to the divisions of which the whole writing of the apocalypse was made to conform. Those who read the book fresh from John's pen were perfectly familiar with the consummation it portrayed; for it was the gospel of the kingdom they had believed and obeyed, symbolically exhibited. But when they had read to the end of the fifth chapter, the question would arise, but when shall these things be? We see that there is to be a "ten days' tribulation," and "an hour of trial upon the whole habitable, to try them that dwell upon the earth;" this will take time; but how long to the taking him that letteth out of the way; and how long shall the Lawless One continue; all of which must ensue before the consummation is established? The epistles do not answer this inquiry. It was all shut up. This, however, might be seen, that in default of further revelation, the first five chapters must be regarded as covering the whole ground from a.d. 98 to the Millennium; and as their contents were resolved into sevens, so the period might be subdivided into sevens likewise. But the arrangement of these sevens would be the difficulty. This, however, is very much mitigated by the structure of the Book of the Seals. Like the Book of the Seven Epistles, it consists of Seven; and the last of the seven seals contains within it, upon the telescopic principle, other sevens, which, when drawn out to the right focal distance, extend to the subjugation of the nations, and their ascription of blessing to their conquerors. Thus, then, though the first six seals were all opened, and fulfilled in the subversion of the constitution of Pagan Rome, a period of two hundred and fourteen years, the seventh seal covers the whole period from the Era of Constantine to the termination of the war of the Great Day, a period as far as hitherto elapsed, of about 1550 years. Hence, the seventh seal contains the seven trumpets; and the seven vials also, inasmuch as the seventh trumpet contains them. We conclude, then, after the analogy of this arrangement respecting the affairs without, through which the consummation is to be wrought out, that the state with respect to affairs within, or pertaining to the relation of the saints to things ecclesiastical or spiritual, is similarly subdivided. In other words, that the seven ecclesias, in their moral or spiritual condition, were each representative of the state of "christendom" at seven distinct epochs, approximating to the periods of the seven seals. According to this, the Ephesian state of the ecclesias would be introductory of the first seal; the Smyrnean, of the second; the Pergamian, of the third; the Thyatiran, of the fourth; the Sardian, of the fifth; the Philadelphian, of the sixth; and the Laodicean, of the seventh. Now, another reason for this arrangement may be found in the fact that "all things are for the sake of the saints;" and that the seals, consequently, were arranged on their account. That is, that the moral, or spiritual, condition of the Christian section of the Roman people was the Spirit's reason for organizing the judicial visitations upon them represented in the seals. This view of the matter explains why there were any seals at all, and why the sixth seal was not the first; nor the first the sixth. In the Ephesian state of christendom there was strength, labor, patience, no faint-heartedness, hatred of Nikolaitanism, and intolerance of evil-doers; therefore the Typical Horse of the first seal was white, and the government that rode it, prosperous. But in the Philadelphian state of spirituality, there was only a little strength; and therefore the sixth seal was opened upon the community, which had become Christian in name, and was on the eve of insurrection against the constituted authorities of the state, who still clung to paganism and its vested interests; and therefore, in its terrible developments, they said to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of his wrath is come" -- Rev. 6:12-17. This is the language not of pagans, or idolators, that regarded Christianity as a fable, but of those wretched, and pitiable, and poor, and blind, and naked, composing the Laodicean professors, who were about to be vomited out of the mouth of the Spirit in this and the succeeding periods; for the judgments of the seals, though they began successively, did not each terminate before its successor began, but intermingled their events. I do not undertake, nor is it necessary, to draw the exact lines of demarcation between the seven degrees of declension from the purity of faith and practice to the establishment of the strong Laodicean delusion, in which professors of Christianity said "they had need of nothing." Paul said "evil men and seducers would wax worse and worse." This was true of the seven states of pre-Constantinian christendom. They all of them waxed worse and worse under the influence of seducers, until there was no scope for repentance. In all these states the number of the faithful diminished, until, when the time came for the Spirit to spue the nothing-needing mass out of his mouth, only a remnant remained to keep the faith alive among mankind. Increased declension always preceded the opening of a seal; so that, for example, the Ephesian state of morals did not commence with the opening of the first seal in a.d. 98; for, taking this as the date of the apocalypse, the Ephesian Angel was in a fallen state, compared with its first love. Hence, the Smyrnean spiritual declension would be maturing under the first seal; the Pergamian under the second; the Thyatiran under the third; the Sardian under the fourth; the Philadelphian under the fifth; and the Laodicean under the sixth; so that the judgment of the sixth seal would be the judicial energy by which the spuing from the Spirit's mouth would be effected; and the Laodicean Apostasy thus ejected would become the spiritual order of the seventh seal. The same principle obtained in the superinduction of the trumpets. The increasing iniquity of the Laodiceans, in all parts of the Roman Habitable, made the world obnoxious to the judgments they symbolized. The west seems to have transcended the east in idolatry and abomination; and therefore their judgment by the barbarians, who sacked Rome, and desolated Italy and the adjacent countries, was earlier and complete; and when the east became ripe, the fifth and sixth trumpets tormented them, and suppressed the sovereignty of the Laodiceans. In the west, these had converted their barbarian conquerors to Laodiceanism. They formed a church and state alliance with them, and became "the Great Harlot with whom the Kings of the Earth committed fornication." All the western habitable worshipped this spiritual and civil power, except the Remnant and the Witnesses. These two classes were the subjects of great oppresion and cruelty at the hands of the Laodiceans; who did their utmost to exterminate them. Because of this, the thunders (of the sixth trumpet) pealed against them; and when this storm, by which Laodicean Protesantism was established as an antagonism in the very camp of the Apostasy, had subsided, the seventh trumpet began to sound, and is still sounding; and will continue to sound, until the Seven vials, which are the blasts, as it were, of the trumpet, and in which is contained all the wrath of the Deity that remains to be poured out upon mankind for a thousand years, shall be exhausted; the result of which will be the spuing forth of political and spiritual Laodiceanism in all its Romish and Protestant modifications, by Jesus and the saints, after the type of the ejectment of Paganism from place and power by the male offspring of Jezebel, a.d. 324: and the setting up of the throne seen of John in the vision of the fourth chapter. The following chronological scheme (on page 428) will exhibit to the reader at one view my idea of the antitypical spiritual states of the pre-Constantinian christendom in their several relations to the seven periods of the Seals. Thus, from the Day of Pentecost a.d. 33, according to the Vulgar Era; or correctly 35 years, 4 months, and 20 days from the birth of Jesus; -- to his appearing in power to establish the kingdom -- a period, as far as already elapsed, of nearly 1828 years -- we have eight ethical or moral states or conditions of things related to christianity. I say eight -- seven apocalyptic states, and one by which they were preceded. This was the Apostolic State of Christendom. The spiritual condition of the ecclesias in this state of things may be learned from the writings of the apostles and others as extant in the New Testament. Their faith in the "things of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ" was unmixed with Nikolaitanism, or "philosophy and vain deceit after the tradition of men, and the elements of the world;" and it worked by love and purified the heart -- Gal. 5:6; Acts 15:9. There was among christians, as the rule, a perfectly unselfish devotion to the interests of the truth, and to the well being of one another. Their works, labor, and patience, were without rebuke. They labored for the name, and did not faint, although the labor endangered their lives, liberty, and goods. The rule was "poor" Chronological Tableau of the Apostasy EPHESIAN STATE Existing before the opening, and extending into, the period of the First Seal. Christians fallen from their first love and works -- Rev. 2:4, 5. Ignatius a.d. 107 First Seal The White Horse. From a.d. 96. Roman people in peace, and prosperous, Paganism declining. Nominal Christianity on the increase with balsphemy. Justin, 165; Polycarp, 167 Martyrs of Lyonsand Irenaeus 177. SMYRNEAN STATE The Ephesian ethics assuming the Smyrnean Phasis -- Rev. 2:9. Second Seal The Red Horse. From a.d. 185. Civil wars and bloodshed -- Rev. 6:4. Tertullian, Pantaenus, Clemens Alexandrinus; and first Divinity school at Alexandria in Egypt. PERGAMIAN STATE. The Smyrnean State become Pergamian. Holders of the doctrine of Balaam and the Nikolaitanes -- Rev. 2:14, 15. Celsus objected, that Christians were now so split into sects, that the name only remained to them in common. Third Seal The Black Horse. From a.d. 217. Distress -- Rev. 6:5 The emperors Alexander, a.d. 222; and Philip 244, nominal Christians. Origen. Cyprian Felicissimus. THYATIRAN STATE The Pergamian with all its evils merging into the worse Thyatiran. Christians intensely nominal. The prophetess Jezebel and "the Satan" -- Rev. 2:20, 24. Fourth Seal The Pale Horse. From a.d. 248. Sword, famine, pestilence, wild beasts -- Rev. 6:8. Decian persecution. End of the world thought to be at hand. Dionysius of Alexandria: Paul the first hermit. a.d. 250 Paul of Samosata, 264 Gregory Thaumaturgus. Anthony the Egyptian. funder of Monkery, a.d. 270. SARDIAN STATE Spiritual death resulting from long peace and Platonism -- Rev. 3:1, 2. The Thyatiran, or Jezebel and Satan, ethics, workign death, or becoming Sardian. Fifth Seal The community of "fellow-servants and brethren," which had become Sardian, or "ready to die," intensely persecuted by Diocletian, from a.d. 303. The Spirit comes upon them in this judgment like a thief -- Rev. 3:3. Eusebius the Ecclesiastical Historian and the following are Laodiceans. Arius, Sthanasius, constantine the Great, Ambrose, Basil, Chrysostom, Augustine, Jerome, et td genus omne. Wiclift, Huss Jerome of Prague, Luther, Melancthon, Zuinglius, Erasmus, Calvin, Knox, Cranmer, Ridley, the Nonconformists, Whitfield, Wesley E. Irving, cummings, Scott, Campbell. Himes, Miller, Joe Smith, Marsh, Spurgeon, and such like. The Laodicean State extends from the Sixth Seal to the Millennium, or, concurrent with the Seventh Seal. PHILADELPHIAN STATE Only "a little strength" remains in the christian commonwealth. Superstition prevalent on every hand, and Christianity in a decayed state. A little benefited by the severe trial. Fast becoming Laodicean. Sixth Seal A great political earthquake, and departure of the haven as a scroll, from a.d. 311. Dissolution of the pagan Constitution of the Roman Government; or that which hindered the revelation of the Lawless One taken out of the way -- Rev. 6:12; 2 Thess. 2:7-8. LAODICEAN STATE The "little strength" of the Philadelphian exhausted. Laodiceanism fully established. Persecution having ceased, and "THE CATHOLICS," as nominal Christians were now called, being in high faovr with the authorities, they say, "We are rich and increased in goods, and have need of nothing" -- Rev. 3:17. Spued out. Seventh Seal Opened a.d. 324. "Silence in the heaven about the space of half an hour" -- Rev. 8:1 The Laodicean "strong delusion," becomes "THE HOLY ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH," or religion of the Roman State "by law established." LAODICEAN STATE The LAODICEANSTATE continues to the approaching advent in this world, rich in faith;" the reverse of this was the exception. When they received the word, they received it gladly and were immersed; and then "continued steadfastly in the apostle's teaching and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers;" and while in their "first love," "the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul; and great grace was upon them all." In this primitive condition of affairs, the ecclesias were all the heritages, hoi kleroi, or clergy, of God, constituting "the flock;" while "the rulers" or "elders" were its feeders under the supremacy of the Chief Shepherd at the right hand of the majesty in the heavens. These ruling brethren took the oversight of the flock, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; and they demeaned themselves, not as lords and reverends, but as examples to the generality of their brethren in the faith. What precise number of years "the heritages of the Deity," continued in this happy and uncorrupted condition, it is impossible to define. We know when the state began, but cannot tell the first year when the devil, or the flesh, began to pervert the truth. We may remark safely, that there is no well defined chronological line between the Apostolical State and the Ephesian State, by which it was succeeded. There was "One Body," consisting of many ecclesias, pertaining to the Apostolical State; and before that body could be said to have passed into the Ephesian State, the Angel Presbyteries of the ecclesias or heritages generally must have responded to the apocalyptical description of the angel at Ephesus. This transition would therefore be gradual; for on the supposition, that "men speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them," first arose in the Ephesian Angel, it would have taken several years to leaven all or a majority of the ecclesias extant with their tradition so as to give character to the Body. The entrance of the body into a new phase would be progressive; the process would be insidious; a change would come over it, and be discerned, not so much in the growing from month to month, as in the growth accomplished after a lapse of years. Now, in the Apostolic State, which had not entirely passed till the destruction of Jerusalem, a.d. 72, the "first love" of the Angel-Presbyteries began very early to be impaired at different points. The agents of this unholy enterprize emanated from Judea, and began the work of "subverting souls" at Antioch and Syria and Cilicia. These were of the sect of the Pharisees, who enjoyed the fellowship of the apostles, and consorted with them in their meetings. They had, therefore, ample means and opportunities of knowing the truth. Aware that it would be useless for them to broach dogmas in their presence, "they went out from them and troubled the Gentile brethren with words." What they dared not teach in Jerusalem they taught in Antioch and other places; and "as the serpent through subtility" sought to corrupt their minds "from the simplicity that is in the Christ." But, although this attempt was opposed, and apostolically denounced, the enterprize was not abandoned by the christianized Pharisees. They determined to popularize christianity so as to make it palatable to the Jews, in the hope that it would cause them to cease persecuting those who believe in Jesus as the Christ. They therefore taught that men should believe the gospel, be immersed, then be circumcized, and keep the law of Moses, if they would be saved. This was Judaizing and "inventing a lie." The apostles taught no such doctrine as this; and in the decree they published, declared all beyond believing the gospel and being baptized, was unnecessary and vain. The invention of this lie was the beginning of troubles to the body of Christ. Its inventors found their advantage in propagating it in defiance of the apostles. They made proselytes to their tradition both among the elders and private members of the flock; and wherever they succeeded in establishing their influence, there, and to the same extent, the authority of the apostles was set aside. They became the adversaries of these holy and self-denying men, and are therefore styled in the Apocalypse "the Satan," and their "church," "the Synagogue of the Satan," of which we have spoken at large elsewhere. But others arose after these, and added new elements to "the lie." Truth is fixed, but lies never diminish in circulating, but always increase. Pious Jews began the work of corrupting the faith; and pious Gentiles, who had been subverted, added some of their "philosophy" and "gnosis," or "science falsely so called," to the original stock, and in their combination, produced what Paul styles, in 2 Thess. 2:7, musterion tes anomias, the Mystery of Iniquity. This, he says, was "already working;" and in its working through Judaizing and philosophizing teachers, gave him all the trouble and mortification he laments in the several epistles. While, then, christendom was, as we have described it in the beginning, pure and uncorrupt in faith and practice, it had sadly degenerated at the time when the apostles had all finished their course, except John. The Apostolical State of the Body was not, therefore, all rose-colored, but was defaced by many unsightly blemishes. The seeds of death and corruption had been sown in it by the enemy; the germ of a Body of Death had been deposited in its womb; even of that Body Ecclesiastic styled popularly in our day "the Church," and apocalyptically, "the Mother of Harlots and of all the Abominations of the Earth." A thoughtful perusal of the epistles will convince the reader that by the time of the apostles' decease, the One Body was in a fallen or Ephesian State, and that consequently, the Apostolical State of things was pregnant with the Ephesian, as the Ephesian afterwards was of the Smyrnean, and the Smyrnean of the Pergamian, and the Pergamian of the Thyatiran, and the Thyatiran of the Sardian, and the Sardian of the Philadelphian, and the Philadelphian of the Laodicean, and the Laodicean of vomiting, corruption, and death. The Mystery of Iniquity, then, had its beginning in the Apostolical State. The seeds of it were then sown broadcast by the enemy. But they did not ripen as soon as sown; they only began to grow. The fruit was to be "the Lawless One." But fruit, when first formed, is not mature. Considerable time passes from the first appearance of the fruit to the time of ingathering because of ripeness. So with the Lawless One, he had to appear as the fruit of the Mystery of Iniquity; but after his appearing, he had to grow and ripen for the vintage, when he should be "consumed with the spirit of the Lord's mouth, and destroyed with the brightness of his coming." Now the matter of the apocalyptical epistles in part consists of accusations, which, when put together, form a formidable indictment against the professing Christian community. These charges, as they increase, show also an increase in crime, until a climax is reached, which exposes the criminal to the most ignominious and condign punishment. The following ordinal summary will make this apparent to the reader. The Spirit accuses the Christian Body,saying, I have against thee -- 1. That thou hast left thy first love; 2. That thou hast them that hold the teaching of Balaam, and the teaching of the Nikolaitans, which thing I hate; 3. That thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, who calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols; 4. That thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead; 5. That thou hast little strength; and, 6. That thou art wretched, and pitiable, and poor, and blind, and naked. Paul said that there would be "a falling away," and here we behold it. As years rolled on, things waxed worse and worse, until the false apostles of the Synagogue of the Satan gained the ascendancy, and their chief, the Man of Sin, was brought forth of their mother Jezebel, as Constantine the Great. The falling away, or apostasy, was obviously progressive, and its progress may be clearly traced in the writings of the men whose names occupy the third column of the Chronological Tableau of the Apostasy, already before the reader. In concluding, then, my exposition of the seven ethical states and stages of the falling away, I shall furnish specimens of the notions current as indicative of each. And first of the 1. Ephesian State. Ignatius was an elder of the ecclesia at Antioch, but possessed of a fanatical desire for martyrdom, which was contrary to the instruction of the Lord Jesus, who said, "when they persecute you in one city, flee to another." But instead of this, when the Emperor Trajan came to Antioch, about a.d. 107, in his way to the Parthian war, Ignatius voluntarily delivered himself up to Trajan, into whose presence he was introduced. "What an impious spirit art thou," said the emperor, "both to transgress our commands, and to inveigle others into the same folly to their ruin!" Ignatius. Theophorus ought not to be called so, forasmuch as all wicked spirits are departed far from the servants of God. But if you call me impious because I am hostile to evil spirits, I own the charge in that respect. For I dissolve all their snares, through the inward support of Christ the heavenly King. Trajan. Pray, who is Theophorus? Ignat. He who has Christ in his breast. Trajan. And thinkest thou not that gods reside in us also, who fight for us against our enemies? Ignat. You mistake in calling the demons of the nations by the name of gods. For there is only one God, who made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; and one Jesus Christ, his only begotten son, whose kingdom be my portion. Trajan. His kingdom, do you say, who was crucified under Pilate? Ignat. His who crucified my sin with its author; and has put all the fraud and malice of Satan under the feet of those who carry him in their hearts. Trajan. Dost thou, then, carry him who was crucified within thee? Ignat. I do; for it is written, "I dwell in them, and walk in them." Upon this Trajan said, "Since Ignatius confesses that he carries within himself him that was crucified, we command, that he be carried bound by soldiers to Great Rome, there to be thrown to the wild beasts, for the entertainment of the people." The brethren in Rome hearing of this sentence upon him, met him on his arrival at Ostia, a few miles from the city. They had written to him before, proposing to intercede on his behalf. But he would listen to no such thing, but determined to be devoured at all events. Referring to this, Milner remarks, "I fear the example of Ignatius did harm in this respect to the church. Martyrdom was, as we know, made too much of in the third century." Having shown how contrary was the course of the apostles, he says of Ignatius, "I suspect there was not an equal degree of calm resignation to the Divine Will." Besides his excessive desire of martyrdom, which was a species of suicide, Ignatius advocated an unscriptural supremacy of one whom it had become fashionable to style "the Bishop." When the New Testament exhorts the faithful in relation to their rulers, it says, "Obey them that have the rule over you;" and these are particularized as "apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers;" and were all "bishops," or episkopoi, which means "overseers." But Ignatius adopted a different style in speaking of these functionaries. "Let us," says he in writing to the Ephesians "study obedience to the Bishop, that we may be subject to God." And again, "Since ye are subject to the Bishop as to Jesus Christ, ye appear to live, not after man, but after Jesus Christ." And, "it is not lawful, without the Bishop, to baptize, or to make a love feast;" and lastly, "It behoves the married to enter into that connection with the consent of the Bishop, that the marriage may be after the will of God, and not to fulfil the lusts of the flesh." These passages show that in that early day one man in each congregation had been set up above all the other elders of the presbytery, who, in proportion as he was aggrandized, were diminished, and caused to assume the position of his inferiors. These notions of Ignatius and his contemporaries laid the foundation of martyrolatry, episcopal usurpation and lordship, the invalidity of ordinances ministered by an unofficial brother, and of matrimony as "a sacrament of the church." A mind running in this current of ideas, had evidently fallen a notch or two below the scriptural standard which characterized the apostolical state in its beginning. Yet Ignatius was more scriptural in his thinking upon religious topics, than any of the writers that succeeded him. He belonged to the fallen Ephesian State, the works of which were not so acceptable as the first. 2. Smyrnean State. The representative writers of this state were particularly Justin Martyr, and Irenaeus. Justin, surnamed Martyr, which signifies a witness, but in after times restricted exclusively to those whose witness was sealed with their blood, published an Apology or defence of the faith he professed, and presented it to the emperor Antoninus Pius, about a.d. 140. He was a pagan philosopher before he was converted to christianity; but, as he says, "having found the Divine Scriptures to be the only sure philosophy," he became a christian. He was put to death about a.d. 163. One would suppose that, having testified himself that Gentile philosophy was false, he would thenceforth have abandoned it altogether. But this he did not do. He continued to dress in the garb of a philosopher, and to persevere in the profession of it; "hoping," as Milner thinks, "to conciliate the affections of philosophers, and allure them to christianity. To draw gentlemen and persons of liberal education to pay attention to christianity, appears to have been his chief employment." A right view of things would have convinced Justin of the futility of his expedients. It is "the poor in this world," and the simple hearted, not "gentlemen" and "philosophers," that God hath chosen to be heirs of his kingdom. In this policy Justin shows a departure from the true apostolic mind so prominent in Paul's writings. Justin's example was pernicious in giving sanction to the union of heathen philosophy with the teaching of Christ and his apostles. There is no agreement between them; and where the union is tolerated, it invariably results in the corruption or extinction from the mind, of the spirit and teaching of the word. Towards the close of his Second Apology, he declares that the doctrines of Plato were not heterogeneous to those of Christ; but only not altogether similar. And he seems to assert that Plato, and the Stoics, and the Pagan writers in prose and verse, saw something of truth from the portion of the seed of the Divine Word, which he makes to be the same as the Word, the only begotten Son of God. But Paul never allows unconverted men to have any portion at all of that light which is peculiarly christian. But Justin had lost sight of the guard, which cannot be too often repeated against philosophy. Not long after him, mystics and heretics and platonizing christians jumbled these things together entirely; and tried to incorporate the philosophical doctrine of the to en with the Gospel. Justin gave them a handle for this; and though philosophy had made its inroads upon the faith in the apostolic age, Milner may not be entirely wrong in saying, that "Justin was the first sincere christian who was seduced by human philosophy to adulterate the gospel though in a small degree. It should ever be remembered, that christian light stands single and unmixed; and will not bear to be kneaded into the same mass with other systems, religious or philosophical. We may here mark the beginning of the decay of the first spiritual effusion among the Gentiles through false wisdom." In the year 167, the ecclesia of Smyrna in writing an account of the martyrdom of Polycarp to the ecclesia at Philomelium seems to reflect upon the martyrdom of Ignatius in saying that it was "perfectly evangelical." "He did not precipitately give himself up to death, but waited till he was apprehended, as our Lord himself did, that we might imitate him. We do not approve of those who offer themselves to martyrdom; for we have not so learned Christ." But, though right in this, they seem to have acquired the notion that martyrdom atoned for sin; for speaking of those who suffered, they say, "thus they despised the torments of this world, and by one hour redeemed themselves from eternal punishment. The fire of savage tormentors was cold to them; for they had steadily in view a desire to avoid that fire which is eternal and never to be quenched." In the translation from which we quote, it reads thus; which may not express their idea. If it does they had gone astray respecting the punishment of the wicked, and must have been infected with immortal-soulism. But, I rather think, they had allusion to certain apocalyptic passages in the book sent to them as one of the seven ecclesias. The kolasis aionios they refer to was probably the Aion-punishment of "the Hour of Judgment," which cannot be quenched till its purpose is accomplished; and which is for the especial destruction of Babylon the Great, the conquest of the kingdoms, and the punishment of all their adherents and supporters. This occurs after the resurrection; and is provided also for the punishment of all who shall be raised to suffer it -- Rev. 14:6-11. Its effects are permanent; but the execution of judgment does not transcend "the hour" appointed. Polycarp who suffered and the Smyrneans who witnessed his death did not agree in their convictions. In his prayer Polycarp said, "O Father, I bless thee that thou hast counted me worthy to receive my portion in the number of martyrs, in the cup of Christ, for the resurrection to eternal life both of soul and body in the incorruption of the Holy Spirit; among whom may I be received this day before thee as a sacrifice well savored and acceptable." His mind was fixed upon the resurrection, but when they tell the story of his death, and speak of his state after it while they were writing, they say, "the envious, malignant, and spiteful enemy of the just, observed the honor put upon his martyrdom and his blameless life; and knowing that he was crowned with immortality and the prize of unquestionable victory, studied to prevent us from obtaining his body, though many of us longed to have communion with his sacred flesh." They gathered up his bones, however, which they term "more precious than gold or jewels," and deposited them in a proper place; "where, if it be possible," say they, "we shall meet in gladness and joy to celebrate the birthday of his martyrdom, both in commemoration of those who have wrestled before us, and for the instruction and confirmation of those who come after." This was the beginning of shrine-pilgrimage and relic-worship. The Smyrneans did not probably then visit the shrine and bones in the spirit of idolators; but what might be innocent in their celebration, in after times became a grossly superstitious and idolatrous observance. Irenaeus belonged to the Smyrnean State of christendom. He was a presbyter of an ecclesia at Lyons in France. He was instructed by Polycarp, who had been personally acquainted with John. About the year 169, Irenaeus became the "Bishop" of the congregation. "Never," says Milner, "was any pastor more severely tried by a tempestuous scene. Violent persecution without, and subtle heresies within, called for the exertion at once, of consummate dexterity and of magnanimous resolution. Irenaeus was favored with a large measure of both; and he weathered out the storm." His views of doctrine are of the same cast as those of Justin, whom he quotes in his Book of Heresies. His philosophy had its usual influence on the mind -- in darkening some truths of scripture, and in mixing the doctrine of Christ with human inventions. Now that things had not improved at the close of Irenaeus's career, but had become worse, may be gathered from his letter to Florinus, in which he says, "I can witness before God, that if that blessed apostolical presbyter had heard some of the doctrines which are now maintained, he would have cried out, and stopped his ears, and in his usual manner have said, "O good God, to what times hast thou reserved me, that I should endure these things." And he would immediately have fled from the place in which he had heard such doctrines." Irenaeus was the author of "the epistle of the ecclesias of Vienna and Lyons to the brethren in Asia and Phrygia," giving an account of the persecution there. Speaking in this of Vettius Epagathus who had been put to death, he says, "He was, and still is, a genuine disciple of Christ, following the Lamb whithersoever he goeth." This is a quotation from Rev. 14:4; and by the use he makes of it, would indicate that his mind had been platonized with the dogma of immortal-soulism, which his instructor Polycarp did not believe. The Smyrnean State was certainly a degeneration from the Ephesian. 3. The Pergamian State. This state of the christian community is illustrated by the writings of Tertullian, Pantaenus, Clemens Alexandrinus, and the Alexandrian School of "Divinity." Tertullian, the first Latin writer among christians, flourished in the latter part of the second, and in the former part of the third century, at Carthage. But were it not for some light which he throws on the state of christianity in his own times, he would scarcely deserve to be distinctly noticed. Tradition with him was authoritative, and among the customs which it sanctioned in the Roman Africa was the very frequent signing of themselves with the sign of the cross. He did not approve of flight in persecution, in direct contradiction of Christ's instructions. He disapproved of second marriages, and called them adultery. Human philosophy after the rudiments of the world formed the prominent corruption of the times of Tertullian and his contemporaries, and immediate successors. In the third century its effects appeared very distinctly. Alexandria in Egypt was at this time the most renowned seminary of learning. A sort of philosophers appeared there who called themselves Eclectic, because they chose what they thought most agreeable to truth from different masters and sects. Ammonius Saccas, a famous Alexandrian teacher, reduced the opinions of this sect to a system. Plato was his principal guide, but he invented many things of which Plato had no idea. He was educated a christian, but of so doubtful a kind that he was claimed by Porphyry for a pagan, and by Eusebius for a saint. Ammonius fancied that all religions, vulgar and philosophical, Grecian and barbarous, Jewish and Gentile, meant the same thing at bottom. He undertook by allegorizing and subtilizing various fables and systems, to compound a coalition of all sects and religions; and from his labors, continued by his disciples, his followers were taught to look on Jew, philosopher, vulgar pagan, and christian, as all of the same creed. Our more distinct information of christianity in this respectable city of the Roman Habitable begins with what is evil. It is said that a christian catechetical school was established there in the apostolic age; be this as it may, Pantaenus is the first master of it of whom there is any account. He was much addicted to the sect of the Stoics, a sort of romantic pretenders to perfection. The combination of Stoicism with Christianity in the system of Pantaenus very much debased the truth; and clouded must have been the light imparted by such an instructor to his disciples. He always retained the title of the Stoic Philosopher, after he had been admitted to eminent employments in the church. For ten years he laboriously discharged the office of Catechist, and freely taught all that desired him. He died not long after the beginning of the third century. Clemens Alexandrinus was a disciple of Pantaenus, and of a mind blasted by the same wind of philosophy. He was of the eclectic sect. But let us hear what he says of himself: "I espouse neither this nor that philosophy, neither the Stoic nor Platonic, nor the Epicurean, nor that of Aristotle; but whatever any of these sects hath said, that is fit and just; whatever teaches righteousness with a divine and religious knowledge, all this I select; and call it philosophy." But what was there even of good morals in all the philosophers he could not have learned in the New Testament; and much more perfectly, and without the danger of pernicious adulterations. Clemens as a Christian, should have known that it was no part of the business of philosophical writers to dictate to the believer: "the world by wisdom knew not God," and "Beware of Philosophy." The christian community was gradually learning to neglect the scriptures and their cautions; and to develop theology into a science so called. Clemens succeeded Pantaenus in the catechetical school, and under him were bred the famous, or rather infamous, Origen, and other eminent perverters of the gospel of the kingdom of Christ. Their preparation under his tuition may be learned from the following statement. "As the husbandman first waters the soil, and then casts in his seed, so the notions which I derive out of the writings of the Gentiles serve first to water and soften the earthy parts of the soul, that the spiritual seed may be the better cast in, and take vital root in the mind of men." This was not speaking according to the oracles of God. The apostles neither placed Gentile philosophy in the foundation, nor believed that it would at all assist in raising the superstructure of christianity. On the contrary they looked at the philosophical religion of their own times as so much rubbish; but in all ages, the blandishments of mere reason on such subjects deceive us; -- "vain man would be wise." This man, Clemens, besides his employment in the office of catechist, was made a presbyter in the ecclesia at Alexandria. Little is known of his life, and the time of his death is uncertain; and certain it is, that little else than evil could accrue to the saints from the ministrations of such a perverted mind. He undertook to delineate a perfect christian, which, being the creation of his pago-christian eclecticism was just such a christian as would please the carnal mind, full of stoical rhapsodies, and the crotchetty asceticism of the flesh. After he had created him, he called him Gnosticus; but the Spirit in the writing to the presbytery at Pergamos, styled him Nikolaitos, or a vanquisher of the people, like his great prototype Balaam, who loved the wages of unrighteousness, and placed stumblingblocks in the people's way, by which they were caused to fall. The Rev. Nikolaitos Gnosticus is the beau ideal of a modern "divine." 4. Thyatiran State. The apostasy from "the truth as it is in Jesus" must have progressed very far when two such chiefs of the Roman Dragon, as the emperors Alexander and Philip, could be recognized as christians. Alexander, the son of Mammaea, styled by Eusebius "a most godly and religious woman," although she had not received the faith, began to reign in the sixeenth year of his age, a.d. 222. It is true, he was esteemed one of the best moral characters in profane history; and never persecuted, but approved and countenanced the christians, such as the multitude of them had now become; but still he was a philosophical worshipper of the shadows of the departed great. He had a domestic chapel, where, every morning, he worshipped those deceased princes whose characters were most esteemed; their statues were placed among those of the gods; and into this company he introduced Apollonius of Tyana, Jesus Christ, Abraham, and Orpheus. He had a desire to erect a temple to Christ, and to receive him regularly into the number of the gods. While residing in Antioch, a.d. 229, he and his mother sent to Origen, then teaching his paganized christianity in the academy at Alexandria, and invited him to visit them. He obeyed the summons, and continued with them a while, conversing with them upon the things for which he had become famous. On returning to Alexandria, he left them in state and views similar to his own, and consequently with no clear and striking comprehension of the faith. "In truth," says Milner, "a number of christians, so called, at this time, were much of the same religion with Alexander himself." He seems to have learned, in some measure, the doctrine of the Divine Unity, and by the help of the eclectic philosophy, to have consolidated all religions into one mass. He and his mother were assassinated, a.d. 235, by Maximin, who reigned in his stead. Pupienus and Balbinus, the successors of Maximin, being slain, they was succeeded by Gordian, who, after six years, were assassinated by Philip the Arabian, who ascended the throne a.d. 244. Eusebius, a christian of the Laodicean type, "the bishop" of Nicomedia, and companion of Constantine the Great, tells us, that this Philip was a christain. "That he was so," says Milner, "by profession, seems well attested by the concurrent voice of antiquity." He is said to have submitted to certain ecclesiastical censures by a bishop. There is no doubt but in the fourth year of his reign, a.d. 247, he allowed and conducted the secular games, which were full of idolatry. Origen wrote an epistle to this emperor and his wife Severa, which was extant in Eusebius' time. Philip was slain a.d. 248. Origen, who had received christianity hereditarily, became catechetical tutor at the school in Alexandria at eighteen. He was a man of very presumptuous spirit, which impelled him to philosophize to the destruction of the faith. He was never content with plain truth, but ever hunting after something singular and extraordinary. He converted the school into a theological academy, which became the Collegiate Alma Mater of the Apostasy -- the Mother of all future Divinity Schools. He maintained himself by the sale of the profane books which he had been wont to study. The christians of the unfallen ecclesia at Ephesus would have burned them -- Acts 19:19. But the times had changed; and Origen was a Thyatiran of the house of Jezebel, and a disseminator of "the depths of the Satan as they teach." He was "a perfect christian" after the type of his master's Gnosticus. He mutilated himself for the kingdom of heaven; made no provision for the morrow; inured himself to cold, nakedness, and poverty; abstained from wine and in general lived so absteminously as to endanger his life. Many persons imitated his excessive austerities, and were at that time honored with the name of "philosophers;" and some of them patiently suffered death. The reader is referred to Col. 2 for a comment on the conduct of Origen and his Alexandrian converts. One of these, a female named Potamiaena, told a soldier who protected her from the insolence of the mob on her way to execution, that after her departure she would entreat the Lord for him. Some time after her death, the soldier was imprisoned on the charge of being a christian. The Origenites visited him, and on being questioned as to the cause of the sudden change, he declared that Potamiaena, three days after her martyrdom, had appeared to him by night, and informed him that she had performed her promise, and that he should shortly die. After this he was put to death. This anecdote of the times, shows the prevalence of fanatical philosophy, will-worship, and the like. The soldier, Basilides, is converted by a fiction, is ignorant of the word, and dies without baptism; nevertheless he is called "a christian." We have a multitude of such christians in our day, but what are they worth? They only illustrate a delusion, and adorn a tale. The Thyatiran State of the christian community was in part parallel with a long period of peace, or absence of persecution. For the space of thirty-eight years -- from the death of Severus to the reign of Decius -- if we except the short turbulent period of Maximin, the church enjoyed a continued calm. During this period of tranquility christianity was fatally paganized; and according to Origen himself, who had been ordained a presbyter, was followed by a great degree of lukewarmness, and much religious indecorum. Let the reader only notice the difference between the scenes he describes and the conduct of christians in the first century, and he will be convinced of the greatness of the declension. "Several," says he, "come to church only on solemn festivals; and then not so much for instruction as diversion. Some go out again as soon as they have heard the lecture, without conferring, or asking the pastors any questions. Others stay not till the lecture is ended; and others hear not so much as a single word, but entertain themselves in a corner of the church." But the ability, as well as the taste for the conquest of this careless spirit, had much declined in the eastern part of the christian community. Origen complains elsewhere of the ambitious and haughty manners of pastors, and of the improper steps which some took to obtain preferments. When Origen was about sixty years of age, he had a discussion with certain in Arabia who denied the inherent immortality of "the soul." Being a professor of paganized christianity, it was natural enough for him to oppose them, and for both him and Eusebius to style the denial "a false opinion." Eusebius says, that the Arabians asserted, that "the human soul, as long as the present state of the world existed, perished at death, and died with the body, but that it would be raised again with the body at the time of the resurrection." This, as we have seen, was Ploycarp's view also. But Polycarp was not heathenized as the contemporaries of Origen and Eusebius were. A considerable council was therefore held by the philosophizers, for the support and sanction of their darling opinion; and as Origen was an expert sophist, they requested him again to discuss the point, which he did, "and with so much force," says Eusebius, "that those who had been led astray, completely changed their opinions." Origen died during the Decian persecution aged seventy; and when he was about passing from the stage of life, that is, about five years before, the more excellent Cyprian was converted to the faith, a.d. 246. He was a professor of elocution in the city of Carthage, in the Roman Africa, and a man of wealth, quality, and dignity. About twelve years comprehended the whole scene of his christian life -- from a.d. 246 to a.d. 258. He was converted under the reign of Philip, and put to death under that of Valerian. Two years after his conversion, he became "the Bishop" of the ecclesia in Carthage, a dignity which, through the growth of superstition, was advancing to excess. Though expressions savoring of haughtiness and asperity are to be found in his writings, excited by particular provocations, ambition was not his vice; his zeal was fervid, and sustained by a temper remarkably active and sanguine, yet allied with the milder qualities of gentleness, love, and humility. He was a very different and superior character to Origen; and a remarkable consequence of which was, that while Origen, among the pagans, succeeded in gaining the favor of the great, and was heard by them with patience, Cyprian could not be endured in his preaching and writings, except by real christians. But my purpose in the introduction of Origen and Cyprian to the reader, is not a biographical sketch and comparison of the men, but simply as representatives of their times. Persecution reigned with astonishing fury in the beginning of Cyprian's pastorate; and he recognizes in it a punishment upon the church for the iniquity of professors. In a treatise of his upon "The Lapsed," is an affecting account of the falling away of the generality from the spirit of christianity, which had taken place before his conversion, and which moved God to chastise them. "If the cause of our miseries," says he, "be investigated, the cure of the wound may be found. The Lord would have his family to be tried. And because long peace had corrupted the discipline divinely revealed to us, the heavenly chastisement hath raised up our faith, which had lain almost dormant: and when by our sins we had deserved to suffer still more, the merciful Lord so moderated all things, that the whole scene rather deserves the name of a trial than a persecution. Each had been bent on improving his patrimony; and had forgotten what believers had done under the Apostles, and what they ought always to do. They were brooding over the arts of amassing wealth. The pastors and the deacons each forgot their duty. Works of mercy were neglected, and discipline was at the lowest ebb. Luxury and effeminacy prevailed. Meretricious arts in dress were cultivated. Fraud and deceit were practiced among brethren. Christians could unite themselves in marriage with unbelievers; could swear not only without reverence, but even without veracity. With haughty asperity they despised their ecclesiastical superiors. They railed against one another with outrageous acrimony, and conducted quarrels with determined malice. Even many bishops, who ought to be guides and patterns to the rest, neglecting the peculiar duties of their stations, gave themselves up to secular pursuits. They deserted their places of residence, and their flocks. They travelled through distant provinces in quest of pleasure and gain; gave no assistance to the needy brethren; but were insatiable in their thirst for money. They possessed estates by fraud, and multiplied usury. What have we not deserved for such a conduct? Even the Divine Word hath foretold us what we might expect -- 'If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments, I will visit their offences with the rod, and their sin with scourges.' These things had been denounced and foretold, but in vain. Our sins had brought our affairs to that pass, that because we had despised the Lord's directions, we were obliged to undergo a correction of our multiplied evils, and a trial of our faith, by severe remedies." From this testimony of Cyprian it is evident that the falling away from the apostolic standard had become intense in the middle of the third century. It was the very type itself of what exists in our day. Pastors and people were all commingled in the same deep declension from the faith and morals of the gospel. Justin and his philosophical admirers had caused them to commit fornication with Gentilism; and the Spirit had given them space to repent of it in the long peace they had enjoyed. But Pantaenus, and Clemens, and Origen, had only led them on from bad to worse: and now, in the Decian persecution, they were cast into a bed of great tribulation, in which they were killed with death; so that all the ecclesias were brought to know, as Cyprian declares, that the Spirit is he who was searching their reins and hearts; and giving to every one of them according to their works -- Rev. 2:21-24. 5. Sardian State. The state of things deplored by Cyprian was that which resulted in the Sardian, characterized by the Spirit as a death-state. By the generation of professors contemporary with it, it was not so considered. Peace and prosperity reigned, as they regarded it; and they flattered themselves that they were in the enjoyment of great spiritual life -- "thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead." The Deity did not see as they saw themselves. He pronounced them dead. That is, christianity was on the verge of extinction; or, as the Spirit explains in the next verse, "ready to die." Very little of genuine apostolic christianity could be found among the christians in the last half of the third century. The Platonism of the Alexandrian school had corrupted every thing, and eaten out its vitals as a cancer; so that the christian mind was prepared for any absurdities and follies in the name of true religion, as in our day. Valerian reigned a.d. 253, and for upwards of three years was the friend and protector of the christians. His palace was full of them, and he appears to have had a strong predilection in their favor, which was not at all promotive of spiritual health and vitality. During the tranquility under this reign, a council was held in Africa by sixty-six bishops with Cyprian at their head. They came together to consider certain questions in agitation. In a letter to Fidus, Cyprian informs the reader of things which will convince him how far they had now departed from the genius, spirit, and principles of the faith. Fidus had denied that infants should be immersed within the second or third day after birth; and maintained that the ancient law of circumcision should be so far adhered to that they ought not to be immersed till the eighth day. But Cyprian and the Sixty-Six were all of a very different opinion. He calls infant immersion "spiritual circumcision;" and says it ought not to be impeded by the law of carnal circumcision; for that it was essential to the salvation of the soul, which would be lost if death ensued before the second or third day. The following is his argument, upon which the "divines" of our century have made no advance. "If even to the foulest offenders," says he, "when they afterwards believe, remission of sins is granted, and none is prohibited from baptism and grace; how much more should an infant be admitted, who, just born, hath not sinned in any respect, except that, being carnally produced according to Adam, he hath, in first birth, contracted the contagion of the ancient deadly nature; and who obtains the remission of sins with the less difficulty, because not his own actual guilt, but that of another, is to be remitted. "Our sentence, therefore, dearest brother, in the council was, that none, by us, should be prohibited from immersion and the grace of God, who is merciful and kind to all." In these few lines from Cyprian, what a striking illustration of the Sardian state of spiritual death is here! We learn from them that the leaders of the ecclesias believed, and therefore taught, 1. The immortality of the soul according to Plato; 2. That said soul, if but two or three days old, would be lost, if the infant owner were not immersed; 3. That immersion and grace, without faith, imparted remission of sins to infants; 4. That infants were damned for a sin committed by Adam over four thousand years before; 5. That immersion and grace in the case of infants was not for the remission of their own sins, but for that of another -- of Adam. Hence, Adam must have been pardoned every time an infant was dipped and regenerated by "grace!" 6. That infant immersion was "spiritual circumcision." Such were the dogmata gravely affirmed by this African Council, a.d. 253, all its members pious professors of christianity, who had recently emerged from the horrors of the Decian trial. "They had a name to live." We know what this means when we look at the clergy around us, and their dupes on every side. All these believe with Cyprian and the Sixty-Six, excepting that they think the Roman Africans used too much water. Our Cyprianites have substituted the sprinkling of the face for the immersion of the infants, in obedience to the See of Rome, on the plea that a few drops of water with "grace" is as good as an ocean; and so it is in the case before us; for water, much or little, is of no account at all, for infant or adult, where faith exists not in the subject; as it is written, "without faith it is impossible to please God; for he that cometh to him must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." "They had a name to live," and are thus spoken of by a Cyprianite historian. "Here is an assembly of sixty-six pastors, men of approved fidelity and gravity, who have stood the fiery trial of some of the severest persecutions ever known, and who have testified their love to the Lord Jesus Christ, in a more striking manner than any Antipedobaptists have had an opportunity of doing in our day; and, if we may judge of their religious views by those of Cyprian -- and they are all in perfect harmony with him -- they are not wanting in any fundamental of godliness." Thus Milner commends them, and pronounces them christians of a holy and vital sort! But the Spirit gives a very different judgment in the case; and saith to the presbytery of the Sardian state, "I know thy works, that thou has a name that thou livest, and art dead. I have not found thy works perfect before the Deity. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent." In 253, they had let slip the gospel originally preached by the apostles. The majority of professors, as in our day, had become oblivious of the truth; and only "a few names" in the Sardian state remained "who had not defiled their garments" with Origenism and Cyprianism. Another dogma started about this time was, that "those whose weak state of health did not permit them to be washed in water, were yet sufficiently baptized by being sprinkled." Cyprian observes, that "the virtue of baptism ought not to be estimated, in a carnal manner, by the quantity of external apparatus." All "christendom," now called "orthodox," is essentially agreed with Cyprian; for even baptists admit the christianity of Quakers who repudiate the use of water altogether. Dionysius of Alexandria, a pupil of Origen, flourished at this time. He opposed the truth that the Millennium is introduced after the resurrection; and finding how much use had been made of the Apocalypse in supporting the doctrine, he gave his thoughts upon it, and confessed, that though he reverenced its contents, he did not understand their scope. Paul of Samosata was another Sardian. He flourished a.d. 264, as bishop of Antioch, and instructor of Zenobia, the Queen of the East, in his own notions of christianity. He taught, that Jesus Christ was by nature a common man like others. He was artful, eloquent, deceitful, and otherwise immoral. He was deposed a.d. 269 by a council of seventy bishops whose indictment against him argues an awful degeneracy from the truth in this primitive arena of the labors of Saul of Tarsus and his companions in the gospel. By this time Monkery, introduced by Paul the first hermit, received considerable impetus through Anthony the Egyptian. The spirit of Paul the Hermit was first incorporated by Anthony a.d. 270, whose biography was written by Athanasius, who was contemporary with monasticism in full blast. Anthony's austerities were excessive, and the most ridiculous stories are told of his contests with the Devil, which forcibly illustrate the self-righteous pride and vain-glory of his disposition. But, as we are not writing a history of monkery, but only citing examples illustrative of the "falling away" in the successive stages of its development to the revelation of the Man of Sin-Power, we shall leave this celebrated monk busily engaged in the Sardian state of Christendom propagating the monastic disposition, and extending its influence not only into the fourth century, but for many ages after. We therefore dismiss him with the remark, that "the faith and love of the gospel received towards the close of this century a fatal blow from the encouragement of this unchristian practice." 6. Philadelphian State. In the apostolical state of the christian community the faith, hope, and love of the brethren was conspicuous and strong. But after the One Body had passed through the Ephesian, Smyrnean, Pergamian, Thyatiran, and Sardian, states, it was greatly enfeebled in all its primitive forces; so that when it was fairly established in the Philadelphian, its brightest examples, who had kept the word and had not denied the name of the Spirit, constituted but "a little strength" for the whole. This "little strength" was the succession of the "few names" of the Sardian state which had not defiled their garments -- the few grains of salt that preserved the body from utter, or Laodicean, corruption. "An open door" was set before those who constituted this little strength of the christian community, which "no man could shut." The emperor Valerian, who for the first three years of his reign, had been the friend and protector of christians, in the year 257, became their enemy. A magician, named Macrianus, a man of diabolical wickedness and folly, having gained an ascendancy over the mind of Valerian, induced him to persecute them with deadly animosity. The persecution lasted three years and a half, when Valerian was taken prisoner by Sapor king of Persia, who detained him the rest of his life, and made use of his neck in mounting his horse; and at last commanded him to be flayed and salted. After Valerian's captivity a door was opened to the christian community, through which entered rest and peace, which continued forty years About the year 262, Valerian was succeeded by his son Gallienus, who proved a sincere friend to the christians, though in other respects, an emperor of no repute. By edicts he stopped the persecution, and gave the bishops letters of license to return to their pastorates. One of these letters, as preserved by Eusebius, runs thus: "The emperor Caesar Gallienus to Dionysius the bishop of Alexandria, and to Pinna and Demetrius, with the rest of the bishops. The benefit of our favor we command to be published through the world: and I have, therefore ordered every one to withdraw from such places as were devoted to religious uses; so that you may make use of the authority of my edict against any molestation; for I have sometime since, granted you my protection; wherefore Cyrenius the governor of the province will observe the rescript which I have sent." He directed also another edict to certain bishops, by which he restored to them the places in which they buried their dead. Thus the Spirit set an open door before the little strength, which no man in power could shut for forty years. Gallienus, the instrument in the hand of Providence through which this opening was effected, seems to have been more like a modern than an ancient sovereign -- a man of taste, indolence, and philosophy -- disposed to cherish everything that looked like knowledge and liberty of thinking; by no means so kind and generous in his constant practice as his profession might seem to promise; he was the slave of his passions, and led away by every sudden feeling that seized his imagination. The christians appear to have been considered by him as a sect of new philosophers; and as he judged it improper to persecute philosophers of any sort, they found a complete toleration under a prince, whose conscience seems to have been influenced by no religious attachment whatever. We now behold in the full development of the Philadelphian state, a new scene -- Christians legally tolerated under a pagan government for forty years! How they must by this time have approximated in their principles to those of the tolerating power. The tolerance of Gallienus was adopted as the policy of the succeeding emperors to the end of the third century. It was violated only in one instance; the effect of which was presently dissipated by the Spirit who would not permit the door to be shut. The moral influence of this long peace was, how ever, exceedingly disastrous. "This new scene," says Milner, "did not prove favorable to the growth of grace and holiness. In no period since the apostles was there ever so great a general decay as this; not even in particular instances, can we discover during this interval, much of lively christianity" -- so very small was the "little strength." The profession of christianity was now becoming fashionable. Dioclesian began to reign a.d. 284. For the space of eighteen years he was extremely indulgent to its professors. His wife Prisca, and his daughter Valeria were in some sense christians secretly. The eunuchs of his palace and his most important officers were also "christians;" and their wives and families openly professed the faith. Christians, so-called, held honorable offices in various parts of the empire; innumerable crowds attended christian worship; the old buildings could no longer receive them; and in all cities wide and large edifices were erected. If Christ's kingdom were "the church," and had been of the pre-Constantinian ages; and if its strength and beauty were to be measured by secular prosperity, the era of its greatness might be fixed in these earlier ages of Dioclesian. But, on the contrary, it was preeminently an era of great declension. During the whole of this third century the work of faith in purity and power, had been in rapid decay. The connexion with philosophers was one of the principal causes, outward peace and secular advantages completed the corruption. Discipline was now relaxed exceedingly; bishops and people were in a state of malice; endless quarrels were fomented among contending parties; and ambition and covetousness had, in general, gained the ascendancy in the christian body. Some there, doubtless, were who mourned in secret, and strove in vain to stop the abounding torrent of the evil. They were the "little strength, who kept the word, and denied not the Spirit's name;" but with this exception, all the rest called "christian" were "of the Synagogue of the Satan who said they are Jews, and are not, but do lie." The hour of temptation was concurrent with this period of forty years; a trial, from which the generation of believers in Philadelphia contemporary with John, were kept; as well as this "little strength" coeval with the embryo formation of the Laodicean consummation of the Apostasy. For the space of thirty years there was an extreme dearth of real christian excellencies. No bishop or pastor eminent for intelligence, faith, zeal, and labor, appears in the history of the times. But notwithstanding this decline of zeal and principle, still christian worship was constantly attended; and the number of nominal converts was increasing; but the faith of Christ itself was now an ordinary business. Eusebius, the ecclesiastical historian, who was born about the year 259, flourished in the transition of the Philadelphian into the Laodicean state, in which last he died a.d. 340. He was the most learned of all the christians, whose learning and philosophy were inimical to the simplicity which is in Christ. Plato and Origen were the masters in the school of his divinity. In this Philadelphian state, which merged into the Laodicean fully developed at the opening of the Seventh Seal, "terminated, or nearly so, as far as appears, that great first effusion of the Spirit of God which began at the day of Pentecost. Human depravity effected throughout a general decay of goodliness; and one generation of men elapsed," says Milner, "with very slender proofs of the spiritual presence of Christ with his Church." Eusebius confesses this declension in the following words: -- "The heavy hand of God's judgments began softly, by little and little to visit us after his wonted manner. The persecution which was raised against us, took place first among the christians who were in military service; but we were not at all moved with his hand, nor took any pains to return to God. We heaped sin upon sin, judging, like careless Epicureans, that God cared not for our sins, nor would ever visit us on account of them. And our pretended shepherds, laying aside the rule of godliness, practised among themselves contention and division." He goes on to observe, that "the dreadful persecution of Dioclesian was then inflicted on the church (a.d. 303-13, ) as a just punishment, and as the most proper chastisement for their iniquities." This persecution will be treated of in illustration of the Fifth Seal 7. Laodicean State. The "little strength" of the Philadelphian state of the christian community was now exhausted, at the end of the "little season" of ten years, during which the "fellow-servants and brethren" were being killed by Diocletian, Galerius, and Maximin, as foretold in the prediction of the Fifth Seal. The revolution of the Sixth Seal had taken that which hindered the revelation of the Man of Sin out of the way, and had consequently restored peace and worldly prosperity to "the Church," of which the emperor Constantine had become the Head. The Laodicean state, which had been forming previous to and during the Diocletian persecution, was now fully inaugurated, and emblazoned in the legislative union which Constantine decreed. Henceforth, appears before the world, not the "One Body" of the faithful in Christ Jesus, but a new thing, or wonder in the heaven, styled by its admirers "The Holy Catholic Church." In contemplating this Laodicean institution, the spirit of pure and undefiled religion, which is unspotted by the world, is not seen. Pompous apparatus, augmented superstitions and unmeaning forms of piety, much show and little substance appear. This is the impression which the account given by Eusebius leaves upon the mind. The following extract from Milner strikingly illustrates the Laodicean character of the time. "If we look at the external appearance of christianity," says he, "nothing can be more splendid. An emperor full of zeal for the propagation of the only divine religion, by edicts restores to the church every thing of which it had been deprived, indemnifies those who had suffered, honors the pastors exceedingly, recommends to governors of provinces to promote the gospel; and though he will neither oblige them nor any others to profess it, yet he forbids them to make use of the sacrifices commonly made by prefects; he erects churches exceedingly sumptuous and ornamental, with distinctions of the parts corresponding in some measure to those in Solomon's temple; discovers with much zeal the Sepulchre of Christ at Jerusalem, real or pretended, and honors it with a most expensive sacred edifice. His mother Helena fills the whole Roman world with her munificent acts in support of religion; and after erecting churches, and travelling from place to place to evidence her zeal, dies before her son, aged eighty years. Nor is the christian (properly the catholic) cause neglected even out of the bounds of the Roman empire. Constantine zealously pleads, in a letter to Sapor, king of Persia, for the christians of his dominions; he destroys idol temples, prohibits impious pagan sights, puts an end to the savage fights of gladiators, stands up with respectful silence to hear the sermon of Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, the historian; furnishes him with the volume of the scriptures for the use of the churches; orders the observation of the festivals of martyrs; has prayers and reading of the scripture at his court; dedicates churches with great solemnity; makes christian orations himself, one of which, of considerable length, is preserved by the historian, his favorite bishop; directs the sacred observance of the Lord's day, to which he adds that of Friday also, the day of Christ's crucifixion; and teaches the soldiers of his army to pray by a short form made for their use. "It may seem invidious," continues Milner, "to throw any shade upon this picture; but though the abolition of lewd, impious, and inhuman customs must have been of great advantage to society, and though the benefits of christianity compared with paganism, to the world, appear very strong by these means, yet all this, if sound principle be wanting, is but form and shadow" -- a mere improvement on paganism. "As it was difficult to clear Origen of depreciating the divinity of Christ, so it is still more difficult to exculpate Eusebius, with whom he was a favorite author. There seems to have been both in Eusebius and some of his friends, and probably in the emperor himself, a disposition, of which, perhaps, they were not conscious, to lessen the honors of the Son of God. His sermons breathe little of christianity, so far as I have seen them; and is so rhetorical and indistinct in his theological discourses, that it is difficult to extract any determinate propositions from his writings. "It was to be expected that great defectiveness of doctrine would not fail to influence practice. External piety flourished, monastic societies in particular places were also growing, but faith, love, heavenly mindedness, appear very rare; yet among poor and obscure christians there may have been more godliness than could be seen at courts, and among bishops and persons of eminence. The doctrine of real conversion was very much lost, or external baptism was placed in its stead; and the true doctrine of justification by faith, and the true practical use of a crucified saviour for troubled consciences, were scarcely to be seen at this time. There was much outward religion, but this could not make men saints in heart and life. The worst part of the character of Constantine is, that as he grew older he grew more culpable, oppressive in his own family, oppressive in the government, oppressive by eastern superfluous magnificence; and the history of the times shows how little true humility and charity were now known in the christian world, while superstition and self-righteousness were making vigorous shoots, and the real gospel of Christ was hidden from men who professed it." Such was the pass at which christianity had arrived at the opening of the Sixth Seal, a.d. 311. Laodiceanism had extinguished the "little strength" of the Philadelphian state which preceded it. In this, the Spirit had "come quickly," or suddenly, upon them in the judgments of the Fifth Seal for the abominations of the existing and previous states. Christianity was now paganized; and as ministered by the bishops and presbyters of the churches, was ineffectual for the salvation of men. It was no longer of use in their hands for the taking out of a people from among the Gentiles for the Name -- Acts 15:14. The time had therefore come to spue them out of the Spirit's mouth. As Milner says, "their external appearance was splendid;" and they imagined that, being enriched and increased with goods by Constantine's munificence, "they had need of nothing;" but the Spirit declares, that they were ignorant of their true spiritual condition; and that they were really "miserable, and pitiable, and poor, and blind, and naked." For the great mass of them, he had no love. They preferred to bask in the imperial sunshine, and to enjoy the favors of the glorious emperor. He therefore left them to their own folly; and as they had set their affections upon things that perish, "God sent upon them a strong delusion unto their believing in the lie; that all might be condemned who believe not the truth, but have pleasure in the unrighteousness" -- 2 Thess. 2:11. "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten;" but these Laodiceans, of what had become under Constantine's patronage "the Holy Roman Catholic Church," were without chastisement, and were therefore "bastards, and not sons." The sons were still a people subject to tribulation; and we see them in Rev. 12, as a fugitive woman fleeing for refuge into the wings of the Great Eagle, far removed from the presence of the new Imperio-Episcopal Despotism -- a tyranny constituted by the unhallowed union of church and state. Let the reader understand then distinctly, that the Constantinian era was that in which the Apostasy from true christianity as originally set forth by the apostles, was perfected; and that being perfected, the Spirit withdrew himself from it entirely. It became as completely separated from the Anointed Jesus and his love, as the loathsome ejecta vomited from the stomach of the person vomiting. The Holy Catholic Church so-called, is a mere spue; and all the churches of which she is "the Mother," are "the Abominations" that have effervesced from its putrefaction. They are mere forms of Laodiceanism -- the genuine progeny of the Roman Jezebel. Since the period of the Sixth Seal, the true believers of the gospel must be sought for in a different channel. They are not to be found among catholics, Greek or Latin; nor among any that recognize catholics in faith, practice, and spirit, as christians. They are not to be found among infant sprinklers of any "name" or "denomination;" nor among adult-immersionists, who understand not "the gospel of the kingdom" preached by Jesus and the apostles. Christians are a separate and distinct class from all these, who are but Laodiceans in faith, spirit, state, and practice. These have been the persecutors of the saints in all ages; that is, from the time the Spirit vomited them out of his mouth in the beginning of the fourth century to the time in which I am now writing; and they will continue to persecute in word or deed, or in both where they are able, "until the Ancient of Days come;" for the Laodicean State being concurrent with the Seventh Seal, the judgments of which have been appointed especially for the punishment and tormentation of the Laodiceans, not for their chastisement as sons beloved, but for their destruction as despised bastards -- it does not terminate till "the wrath of God" contained in the Seventh Vial section of the Seventh Seal, is poured out to the last drop -- Rev. 15:1, 8. In my "Chronological Tableau" I have, in the third column, inscribed certain names which are familiar to the readers of history. They are by no means all that might have been appropriately inserted there. They are but a specimen of an immense multitude who have figured in the arena of the Laodicean Apostasy in its internal strifes and agitations. I have inscribed them as names illustrative of the principal genera and species of the class, Apostasia; which Paul taught was to precede and extend to the epiphany of Christ's parousia, or manifestation of his presence. All the popes from Constantine, and their cardinals, bishops, priests, and so forth; and all in fellowship with them; and all the several orders of monkery; and the hierarchies of protestantism, which is but a modification of Romanism, might have been detailed. But such an enumeration is unnecessary. The few we have selected will illustrate the whole, and stand as the representative of those who boast in them as the stars, and constellations of their pietism. Many of them have been useful in their day and generation. Justin, Origen, Clemens, and others, though corruptors of the faith, were useful in transforming paganism into Laodiceanism; which, though intrinsically contemptible and worthless as a means of salvation, is an improvement upon paganism. So Huss, Jerome, Luther, Calvin, Knox, and such like, all of them Romanists and ignorant of the gospel of the Kingdom, which consequently they never obeyed, were useful in blindly developing protestantism, which, with all its imperfections and worthlessness as a means of eternal life, is an improvement on Romish superstition and immorality. The last names on the list are representative of contemporary dilutions of protestantism. Whether they be improvements upon the original is questionable; they are at all events better than Romanism, if we except Mormonism, which is cruel as the grave. They are forms of error, which, however diversified among themselves, are essentially Laodicean; yet, are not without their use in contributing to antagonize the rich and powerful sects; and to prevent them from coalescing into a colossal despotism, by which the gospel of the kingdom might be utterly suppressed. Pious faithlessness of the word is characteristic of them all. They are without exception the exact countepart of the Laodicean Angel contemporary with John. The characteristics of this are equally those of Laodiceans from, Constantine to the manifestation of the presence of the Christ -- "miserable, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked." The Spirit, in the present advocacy of the gospel of the kingdom, "counsels them to buy of him gold tried in the fire, that they may be rich; and white raiment that they may be clothed, and that the shame of their nakedness do not appear; and to anoint their eyes with eye-salve that they may see." Thus, "he stands at the door and knocks;" and ready to come as a thief -- Rev. 16:15. But for the most part they pay no heed. Yet, if any will open, he will enter in, and sup with him. Who then will hearken to what the Spirit saith to the churches? Appendix The Apocalypse comprises the final message of the Lord Jesus Christ to "his servants," that they might understand certain matters relating to the purpose of Yahweh that were previously hidden from them; particularly in relation to events that were to come to pass (Rev. 1:1, 19; 4:1; 22:6). The message is not limited to prophecy, but also contains exhortation, warning and encouragement. However, its main purpose is to reveal the significance of the "times and seasons" which as "children of light" it is expected that we should comprehend (1 Thess. 5:1-5). In Eureka, Brother Thomas has written: "The Apocalypse was given to the end that the servants of Deity who are keeping their garments might be able to discern the signs of the times preceding the apocalypse of Christ; and the real nature of things extant in their several generations. No believer, understanding this prophecy, could be seduced into fellowship with the clerical institutions of the world; because he would see them in all their native deformity and sin." Concerning Eureka, Brother Roberts wrote: "I, for one, am indebted for my understanding of this most difficult part of the testimony of God. Before reading that exposition, I understood only snatches of it. Now I am thankful to be able to follow it in its entirety. Do not be tempted to think that we lean upon a man's judgment in the matter. Dr. Thomas not only gives you his conclusions, but the reasons which led him to those conclusions. We are able to make his conclusions our own by a process which makes us independent of all men as to the ground on which we hold them. The best proof of the soundness of the views advanced by Dr. Thomas lies in this, that once a reader is directed by him to the Bible, and becomes a Bible student, he can dispense with Dr. Thomas' book altogether so far as steadfastness of conviction is concerned. The Bible nourishes that conviction from day to day." The Apocalypse, therefore, comprises a most precious gift from God. One, too, in which we can place implicit trust. Events have been fulfilling just as predicted. Nothing has failed. Paganism disappeared; the apostasy became enthroned; the Papacy arose and ran its cruel and unhallowed course; the Saracenic, Turkish, and Napoleonic scourges have performed their appointed work; the Ottoman Empire has disappeared and Turkey itself is under threat; the way of the Kings who are out of the Sun's rising is being prepared in the restoration of Israel; the world is distracted by the "unclean spirits like frogs"; a state of restlessness, antagonism and preparation for war is in evidence; and we stand on the eve of Christ's return. We have much indeed for which to be grateful in the gift of The Apocalypse, and also for its illuminating and stimulating key: Eureka. The Apocalypse contains its own evidences of divine inspiration. The fulfilment of its many predictions of course is the most powerful of these evidences. But the structure of the book is a no less striking proof. Had man been the author of The Apocalypse, he would have given everything in chronological order, finishing up with the Kingdom. Not so with this divine programme. The reader is brought to the end, to the Millennium, many times over. There is an explanation for the course adopted. Believers, whilst being cheered in the various ages by the unfolding of the revealed events relating to their own times, have by the Kingdom being linked with those events, been constantly reminded of the grand consummation in view. WHY THE APOCALYPSE SHOULD BE STUDIED Paul wrote that "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Tim. 3:16-17). All sections of the Word, therefore, should engage our attention; all of it is designed to equip the student for a wonderful and exciting destiny: life eternal in the Kingdom of God. The Book of Revelation should not be neglected. But, unfortunately, it is neglected by many who believe that it is beyond their comprehension to grasp. Admittedly, it is a book that is hard to understand; but so is Scripture generally, for it sets forth divine wisdom, which is far above human thought (Isa. 55:8-11). The Blessings of the Book However, more than any other book of the Bible, divine blessings are pronounced upon those who study the Apocalypse with understanding. Daniel was told that "the wise shall understand" the prophesies delivered unto him (Dan. 12:10), John in Patmos was told that the wise who came to understand the things revealed unto him will be "blessed." In fact, this "blessing" is pronounced seven times throughout the book. And that is quite significant, for The Apocalypse is a book of "sevens": seven messages to the Ecclesias; a seven-sealed book; seven trumpeters; seven vials, and so forth. Seven is the number of completion, the number of an oath which seals a matter. The proclamation of seven blessings throughout the book emphasises the importance of its study. Here are the seven blessings: 1. -- A Blessing pronounced upon the accurate study of its message: "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein" (Rev. 1:3). 2. -- A Blessing pronounced upon those who will be resurrected to help fulfil it: "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, from henceforth, yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them" (Rev. 14:13). 3. -- A Blessing upon those who watch and walk in the light of its teaching: "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments" (Rev. 16:15). 4. -- A Blessing upon those who partake of the marriage supper of the Lamb: "Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb" (Rev. 19:9). 5. -- A Blessing upon those who attain unto life eternal: "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power" (Rev. 20:6). 6. -- A Blessing upon those who keep the sayings of the book: "Blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book" (Rev. 22:7). 7. -- A Blessing upon those who keep the Lord's Commandments: "Blessed are they that do his commandments" (Rev. 22:14). The word blessed is from the Greek makarios and signifies to pronounce happy. A cognate word is found in James 5:11: "We count them happy which endure." The word is used in relation to the beatitudes (Matt. 5), and there denotes the nature of the blessing. The "poor in spirit," the "mourners," the "meek," the "hungry and thirsty," the "persecuted" are pronounced "blessed" or "happy," because they are enabled to look beyond their present sufferings, to the glory of the Kingdom of God. The Apocalypse sets forth that hope as a reality. It makes clearer and more substantial the joyous anticipations of the present. More than any other book of the Bible, it enables one to look beyond the present to the joy of the future. It enables one to appreciate better the words of Paul: "For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal" (2 Cor. 4:15-18). A Message for Every Age Throughout the Revelation, Christ has injected personal messages to his brethren of every age. For example, his messages to the seven Ecclesias related primarily to the brethren of the first century; his encouraging comment recorded in Revelation 13:9-10 particularly concerned the faithful of the Middle Ages who had to endure the bitter persecution levelled against them by the Papacy during the time of its ascendancy; the proclamation of Revelation 16:15 is directed to those living at the epoch of his return. So the book has encouragement for believers of every age, and words of warning, exhortation and advice for every situation. Above all else, it directs attention to the time when "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away" (Rev. 21:4). The book, therefore, comprises Christ's personal message to "his servants" whom he treats as "his friends" (John 15:15). As his friends, let us heed the words he has directed for our learning and admonition, and particularly the powerful exhortation that is inserted in the prophecy of Chapter 16 for the benefit of believers of this Age. A Blessing or a Curse? The Apocalypse pronounces a blessing upon those who come to understand its message accurately. There are three main schools of interpretation of this book. They are: the Immediate, the Futurist, and the Historist. The Immediate sees it all fulfilled prior to the destruction of the Jewish State by the Romans in a.d. 70. According to this interpretation, the seven kings of Revelation 17:10, are the seven emperors: Augustus, Tiberias, Gaius, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho. The number of the beast -- 666 -- is the total numerical value of Nero Caesar spelled in Hebrew letters, and so on. The Futurist understands the major part of the book as referring to what is still future, that is, to the end-epoch of the present age, and onwards. The theory introduces a confused jumble of events unlike anything else in Scripture; so that Christ is pictured as returning to the earth to wage war, and then ascending to heaven again, to finally return to complete his labours. The saints go forth to fight, only to be slain, and their bodies to remain for three days in the street of the great city (Rev. 11), to be resurrected, and "ascend into heaven." The Historist, taking Rev. 1:3, 19 as a guide, sees the book as a prophetic programme covering the whole of history from apostolic days to the end of time. The book thus becomes divinely predepicted history, from about a.d. 96 when John was persecuted in Patmos (Rev. 1:9) to the present time and beyond, depicting political and ecclesiastical events in cipher, figure or code. In this view, the book is unfolding itself throughout history, even through the present age. That is the interpretation set forth by Brother Thomas in Eureka. We fail to see how any other view can be accepted in view of the statements of the Revelator: "The time is at hand" (Rev. 1:3); "Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter" (Rev. 1:19). These statements surely indicate that the Apocalypse relates to things that then shortly would begin to come to pass, and would continue on until the Kingdom is established. How can the Immediate theory be sustained in view of such requirements as "God shall wipe away all tears, and there shall be no more death" (Rev. 21:4)? How can the Futurist view be sustained in view of the Revelator's explicit claim that the prophecies set down "must shortly come to pass"? We have read the theories advanced in support of this Futurist view, have given them consideration, but have been compelled to set them aside, not merely because we consider them an incorrect interpretation, but because that very form of interpretation would undermine basic doctrines of the Truth when taken to their logical conclusion. For example, a theory that demands that Christ returns twice; that the saints suddenly become belligerent and fight against the powers that be in a losing battle, to die, be raised and ascend to heaven, conflicts with basic teaching of the Gospel, and must be set aside. We do not believe, therefore, that we can "agree to differ" regarding the interpretation of the Apocalypse. Whilst we can sympathise with brethren who may be hazy about its meaning, and therefore in need of instruction which they are prepared to receive, we believe that those who set out to destroy the line of interpretation set down in Eureka do a veritable disservice to the Truth; even though they do not intend this. The matter is quite important. If a blessing is attached to those who "know accurately" the significance of the message; what are we to say of those who would set forth an interpretation that would distort its meaning? Obviously their theory conveys a curse; and as such should be opposed even though they might be quite sincere in their propagation of it. Certainly, we cannot remain indifferent to such expositions. When the basic doctrines of the Truth are challenged we are expected to defend them, and show the fallacy of the error advanced in their stead. In similar manner we should defend the truth concerning the interpretation of this book, particularly when the Lord Jesus himself has proclaimed a special blessing upon those who attain unto its true understanding. With many Christadelphians, we believe that though Eureka is not inspired as the Scriptures are inspired, its author was divinely guided in the interpretation set forth. That does not mean that we necessarily endorse every detail of it; but it does mean that by and large, we accept it as the true meaning of the Revelation. We are convinced that an unbiased examination of the evidence will demonstrate the soundness of what is therein set forth. PUBLICATION OF EUREKA The first volume of Eureka was published in 1862, but long before then, the attention of its author had been directed towards the study of The Apocalypse. Indeed, for over twelve years he had pondered its message, and had written extensively on its contents in the pages of his various Journals. Eureka represents his major work, and in our opinion, the most valuable piece of writing outside the inspired Scriptures themselves. Of the three volumes of Eureka, the first, in expounding the messages of Christ to the Ecclesias, must rank very high in importance. Exposition and exhortation are blended in the explanations of the symbols used by the Spirit and their application to the saints. Dr. Thomas had a sound grasp of Scriptural principles, and the study of his principles of interpretation provides the student with a key that unlocks the mysteries of the Word, and allows him to build on that which it reveals. As a medical doctor he had a mind free of human theological tradition, so that when he gave himself to the study of the word, he was very susceptible to its guidance. Concerning him, the late John Carter wrote: "His educational and professional training combined to give him keen perception. His natural qualities of fearlessness and steadfastness led him to hold fast that which he perceived to be the Truth. Like Paul the apostle, he had one consuming purpose, to respond to God's commands. Such a strong motive is an unifying force in life, and it gave zest to the study of the Oracles, earnestness in preaching, endurance in opposition, courage in disappointment; it enabled him to put aside worldly gain, and to toil in bringing God's truth to others." The apex of his literary work undoubtedly is found in Eureka. Volume 2 PREFACE It is with no little satisfaction that the author is at length enabled to place this volume of his Exposition of the Apocalypse in the hands of its subscribers. To subscribers and authors in general, the issuing of books by subscription must always be a work of anxiety; especially where, as in the instance of Eureka, the subscribers thereto have made its author the depository of nearly two thousand dollars in advance of the performance of what he had proposed in his prospectus. This was a signal act of confidence in his integrity, exceedingly gratifying to his feelings; for which he takes this opportunity of returning his sincere and heartfelt acknowledgment. It was an act of confidence also in his ability to perform the difficult work of exposition. He trusts, therefore, that now the volume is in the subscribers' hands, and they can leisurely familiarize themselves with its contents, they will come to see that their confidence has not been misplaced. When the prospectus was sent upon its mission, the author was far from being sanguine of success. The general indifference, and prejudice existing against the Apocalypse; the great cost of the proposed exposition; and the uncontradicted calumnies so industriously circulated by the author's enemies, cooperated to create no little misgiving in regard to the success of the undertaking. But, when Deity signified the Apocalypse to the apostle John, did He not intend it to be understood by His servants? Was it not revealed for their information; and especially for the enlightenment of that generation of them which might be contemporary with the denouement of the plot so skillfully laid, and admirably worked out, in all the ages and generations of the past, by "the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, who had prevailed to open the scroll, and to loose the seven seals thereof?" Was all the wonderful and mighty working to be lost upon this generation, and to be in regard to it as though it had never been? This, the author could not bring himself to believe. His thorough and abiding conviction was, that the Apocalypse was not only given to be understood, but also to be understood before the appearing of the Ancient of Days. For otherwise, how could His servants watch, and perceive the signs therein revealed, and be prepared for his coming? The apocalyptic benediction is pronounced upon "him who knows accurately," and upon "themwho give heed to the words of the prophecy, and observe narrowly the things written in it." But, how can this be done by them who understand it not? And where are they to whom it is intelligible? If any such exist, why is their light under a bushel; why hath it not shone forth to all that are in the house? Without scriptural, historic, and chronological exposition, the Apocalypse is unintelligible to the people of the nineteenth century. Some imagine that because it is a revelation, it must necessarily expound itself to the illumination of a wayfaring man though a fool. This, however, is but a poor compliment to themselves who, with all their boasted science and scholarship, are altogether in the dark concerning it. But, from the days of Dionysius, "the great bishop of Alexandria," to the time of Pio Nono, the present spiritual incumbent of the tottering throne of the Roman Orb, all "the wise and prudent" declare, that without exposition the Apocalypse is an unintelligible mystery. Hence many learned and popular writers of divers of the "names and denominations" have attempted to expound it. Among these are Sir Isaac Newton, Mede, Bishop Newton, Fleming, Faber, Bickersteth, Brooks, Cunningham, Irving, Keith, Maitland, Elliott, Cunning, Lord, and so forth. But no one understanding "the Gospel of the Kingdom," and the doctrine concerning "the Name of Jesus Christ," can possibly admit that they have succeeded. Believers of this gospel can come to but one conclusion, which is, that all their attempts are signal and decided failures. And, if this class of writers have failed, whither shall we look for an interpreter? The fact is that there was none. The understanding of the gospel of the kingdom enabled the author to perceive, that the exposition of the Apocalypse was still a desideratum -- a thing to be devoutly and earnestly desired. The Apocalypse was given by Deity to Jesus Christ, that He might show it to his servants; and the reason why no exposition was extant, is, that Jesus Christ, who is the truth, had not given the ability to "the wise and prudent" of the Laodicean Apostasy. His servants and brethren were not to be taught by the wise and prudent of the excommunicated Court of the Gentiles. He had "spewed these out of his mouth;" and was it likely, then, that he would confer on such the honor of being the interpreters of his apocalyptic mysteries? By no means. The exposition, as well as the apocalypse given, must be His. "Let Christ dwell in your hearts by faith." These are the words of Paul; and the Spirit that anointed Jesus said through him, "I am the Truth." Hence, there can be no correct exposition of the Apocalypse unless Christ the Truth give it. No writer on the Apocalypse can do anything aright apart from this inspiration. Unenlightened by "the truth as it is in Jesus," the most learned are as incompetent as the most ignorant. Mr. Elliott says truly: "The Apocalyptic subject is one altogether peculiar; being at once so important, so difficult, and so controverted." It is an arena upon which the foregoing extremes meet and cordially embrace. "None of the guilty shall understand." This is the irreversible decree; who can annul it? A correct interpretation being Christ's, it was for Christ also to provide for its publication. Such was the author's conviction. If the work is the Lord's, he will provide the means. And remarkably has this conviction been verified. The truth opened Lydia's heart to attend to the things spoken by Paul. She heard them, became interested in them, and attended to them. This is termed the Lord opening her heart. Upon the same principle, He opened some of the hearts of the subscribers to the author's exposition, that through its publication by their means, they and others afar off might come to the understanding of the things written in the apocalyptic prophecy; and that thereby they might obtain the blessing promised in chap. 1:3. The author has made personal application to none. The notice of his readiness to publish, if enabled so to do, is all the effort he has made in the premises. But the response was not encouraging; and the author came well nigh despairing of success. Christ, however, in the hearts of a few, willed otherwise; so that, by their spontaneous liberality to the amount of twelve hundred and sixty dollars, he was enabled to go to press; with the assurance also that, if he would proceed with the preparation of the third volume, the means for its publication should be promptly furnished. This unexpected success in bringing forth so expensive a work has both rejoiced and surprised him. It is a practical attestation that he still lives in the esteem of "the excellent, in whom is all the delight of the Holy One." As one of the Holy City down-trodden in the earth, he has not escaped the efforts of the Serpent's Seed to bruise him in the heel; but he rejoices to find that they have not fatally affected his usefulness. Their "enmity," which broke out against him while passing the first volume through the press, has coiled around him in all the labors of the second. He has, however, given but little heed to it; being assured that when this volume, the fruit of much thought and labor amid great discouragement and conflict, shall come into the reader's hands, he will be able, by a comparison of the author's incessant labors, with their fitful and ephemeral, but malicious, attacks upon his name, to arrive at a true and righteous verdict in the premises. The elaboration of such works as the author's leaves no spare time for evil courses. The matter of which they are composed, firmly believed, alienates from the petty jealousies and rivalries of minds spoiled by "science falsely so-called," and by all sorts of traditions, or crotchets, which make void the truth. "By their fruits ye shall know them." Public writers and teachers can only be thus known. Their writings and discourses are their fruits. The author's are before the world, and before "the saints who are on the earth;" and though all called saints are not "excellent," he has no apprehension of reprobation from those who are. He regards the defamatory writings of bad men and hypocrites as highly complimentary and laudatory. In the denunciations of such, the author rejoices greatly; for it is a public testimony to all concerned, that he sits not in their seat, and that "the hope of the hypocrite" is not his. The appearance of this volume at the present crisis of human affairs is well-timed. The author believes that two years or so later would have been unseasonable, and possibly "Too Late." If his chronology be correct, the current epoch must be hard upon the terminus of the Papal Power, and the initiation of "The Time of the Dead." These two crises are conterminous. Their contemporary limitation is fixed to the ending of a symbolic "Forty and Two Months," which is an Aeon, or cycle, of 1260 years. The signs of the times, apart from chronological computation, clearly indicate that this cycle has nearly described its course. The "Dried Up" condition of the the Fourth Euphratean Angel-power, enthroned in Constantinople; and daemon-operation of the Francic-Frog-Power for the past eighteen years upon the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet -- are unmistakable signs of the speedy manifestation of The Ancient of Days. He comes in "as a thief." He was with Moses at the Bush. He is at the right hand of Almighty Power; and He is the Coming One -- the Grand Master of the situation created by events in the development of which French Imperialism has been His subordinate and precreative agency. The working of this is the great sign "in the heaven of the Son of Man." It has been wonder-working until it has brought the False Prophet into the greatest peril. The withdrawal of French protection will, doubtless, leave him a prey to the hatred of his own children, whose rebellion will rapidly develop the end. And how greatly is that end to be desired by all true believers! And how intensely interesting must be the proof of its extreme nearness to all such! It is indeed true, that "the Time of the Dead, that they should be judged," and that "the reward" so long promised should be given to "the prophets, and to the saints, and to them that fear the name of the Coming One, small and great" -- is it indeed true, that this "Day of Vengeance and Year of the Redeemed," is at the very door? The author believes, that this volume will assist the reader greatly in his endeavour to acquire a satisfactory solution of this highly important and interesting problem. The Time of the Dead is contemporary with a time of angry excitement among the nations -- "the nations were angry, and thy wrath came and the time of the dead, that they should be judged" -- Apoc. 11:18. Their anger is excited against Rome: which when the Apocalypse was given, was styled, "that Great City having dominion over the kings of the earth" -- Apoc. 17:18. She had it then; and but for the working of the revolutionary Frog-Power, would still manifest it to a greater extent than at present appears. The approaching belligerency of the nations is an important element of the Roman Question. They are to hate the Harlot, and make her desolate and naked, and to eat her flesh, and burn her with fire" -- Apoc. 17:16, The Papal Deity of the Roman Orb a refugee from his capital, or a captive in revolutionary bonds, may evolve an unclean, wonder-working, daemonspirit, from his mouth, which will go forth to the kings of the earth and of the whole habitable, including the American Continent, and gather them to a conflict for the suppression of the approaching European Revolution, and the reestablishment of the Papal Throne, which will signally accomplish the desolation of the Harlot. The Convention between the French and Italian powers of September 15, 1864 contains the elements of this coming struggle between Despotism and the Revolution. Within two years of this date, Rome is to be evacuated by the French, and "the God of the Earth" left to his own resources. The 15th Sept., 1866, is the fatal limit of the Franco-Italian Convention. May it not also be that at this date will be found the terminus of the Forty and Two Months allotted to the Papal Power to practise -- poiesai? Forty and two months of years ago carry us back to a.d. 606, into the Phocal Epoch. At this time the Bishop of Rome and the Patriarch of Constantinople were contending against each other for the Pontifical Supremacy of the Roman Orb. The only authority that could confer this Pontificate was the Emperor reigning in Constantinople. Maurice, the predecessor of Phocas, was in favor of the Patriarch; but a revolution set him aside, and elevated Phocas to the Imperial Throne. This sanguinary usurper favored the aspirations of the Bishop of Rome, known as Boniface the Third. In compliance with his request, he confirmed the right acquired by John ll, from Justinian seventy-five years before; and constituted "the See of the Roman and Apostolic Church the Head of All Churches." This was "giving the saints into the hand" of the Episcopal Constituent of the Little Horn; and authorizing him to practise. Thus, by imperial authority "was given unto the beast a Mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to practise forty and two months" -- Rev. 13:5. It was only by foreign secular power contributing its support, that the Pontiff-King of Rome has been enabled to eke out an existence to the present crisis. But for the French in "the Eternal City," the Papal Kingdom would have been numbered with the dead some twenty years before its time. The Deity sent the French to Rome in 1849 to strengthen it, that its Pontiff might be enabled to practise imperially to the end of the 1260 years for which its license was divinely granted. That cycle of preeminent lawlessness and blasphemy has nearly described its appointed course. A few months more will probably complete it; and the loss of power to practise, will be the death knell of the Papacy, and the deliverance of the saints; the giving to them the honor of executing "the judgment written" to the subversion of all thrones; and the final abolition of this sanguinary pontificate from the earth. Such a crisis, then, being just upon the world, how interesting and important must that work be which treats of the things, whose course has been long tending thereto. It is the purpose of this volume to unfold that series of events which has been consecutively evolved from the time the Apocalypse was given to the formation of the present situation. The labor bestowed on its elaboration has been itself a pleasure; and the author earnestly hopes, that in reading it its subscribers will find much advantage; or at least, have no cause to regret the pecuniary expenditure incurred in causing it to see the light. In conclusion, the author would invite the attention of the reader particularly to the Chronikon Hebraikon, which he has appended to this volume. He believes that it is a correct extrication of the chronology of the Scriptures. But, if these are not reliable, then all chronological inquiries pertaining to antiquity may be abandoned in despair. The Scriptures, however, are the most authentic chronological records extant; and only require to be understood to excite the admiration of the student at the ingenuity and accuracy of their details. The study of these is highly useful and improving; and calculated to fix firmly and methodically in the mind the events and testimonies of the word. The Author intends to publish a small edition of his Chronikon apart from Eureka. It will be issued in a paper cover, at a price not exceeding seventy-five cents, including postage. As to the Third Volume of Eureka, the author will proceed to its elaboration with all diligence, working while it is called today; for "the night cometh when no man can work." His earnest desire is, that a celestial visitant may find him thus engaged; and by divine authority serve upon him notice to quit; and forthwith to report himself for judgment in the presence of the King. But if such an event as this should not transpire so soon as he anticipates; and time should be afforded for the completion of the work, the author will in that case give due notice to the purchasers of the second volume, that they may in like manner possess themselves of the third. January, 1866. A.M. 5956. THE AUTHOR. COMMENT Time has proved that the anticipations of the Author of Eureka in regard to the return of Christ were premature. And this reveals that with all its value Chronikon Hebraikon fails to provide a satisfactory chronology of the Scriptures in relation to the time periods of the future. Those time periods seem to introduce consecutive epochs of time, rather than specific datings. The Author above made the mistake of interpreting the periods of 1260, 1290 and 1335 of Daniel 12 as beginning at different times and terminating at the one epoch (see Elpis Israel). In the Preface above he anticipated judgment being poured out upon the Papacy at the termination of the 1260 period (1868-70), and believed that the Lord would return about the same time. The first part of his prognostication was fulfilled. A few years after Eureka volume 2 was published, the Papacy experienced a measure of judgment at the hands of the revolutionary forces that swept Europe at that time, so that between the years 1868 and 1870 the temporary power of the Papacy was taken from it, and the Pope became a prisoner in the Vatican. This state continued until in 1929 the temporal power of the Papacy was restored. When Eureka was published the Popes ruled and still rule the Roman Catholic Church from the Vatican. Until 1870 they were also temporal rulers of the Papal States. In that year these states became part of the unified Kingdom of Italy. Papal territory was then confined to the palaces of the Vatican, and the Lateran and Villa of Castel Gandolfo, and the temporal power of the Popes was suspended until 1929. In that year papal sovereignty was recognised by the Italian government under Mussolini, so that the Popes, who had previously been virtually prisoners in their own splendid dwellings, today travel the world on diplomatic missions or for propaganda purposes. In 1929, the Vatican was but a city; today it is a city-state; and in order to increase the political prestige and influence of the Papacy, Popes have visited many parts of the world, including Europe, Israel, Africa, USA, and so forth. This is in full accord with the requirements of The Apocalypse, for at the epoch of its destruction the Papacy is represented as boasting: "I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow" (Apoc. 18:7). The Papacy is rapidly reaching that moment of boastfulness at the present time. Meanwhile, let us make this point. The anticipations of the Author of Eureka regarding the return of the Lord, assisted in charging his comments with greater urgency and appeal, so that his expositions lose nothing in vigour and interest with the passing of time. His earnest desire for the Lord's coming probably influenced his timing in that regard, illustrating that he was of the company of those who "love the Lord's appearing" (2 Tim. 4:8). The enthusiasm he displayed is something that "the servants of Deity" can emulate today as they witness in the earth the signs that enable them to anticipate Christ's appearing with every confidence. -- HPM The rugged, barren island of Patmos consists mainly of rocky, volcanic hills. Such islands were frequently used by the Romans as places of political banishment; and to Patmos John was sent. According to tradition and Scripture (Ch. 1:9), John was banished by the Roman emperor Domitian (a.d. 95) and released eighteen months later, having meantime received the Apocalyptic visions. Expressions through The Apocalypse are suggestive of his presence on such an island, such as, "I stood upon the sand of the sea" (Apoc. 13:1). Hadrian restricted the borders of the Empire in order to consolidate its power. He put down the revolt of the Jewish leader Bar-Kochba, banned Jews from Jerusalem, ploughed the site (cp Mic. 3:12), rebuilt it as a Roman colony, and renamed it Aelia Capitolina.